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The best a man can get?

September 14, 2008

At the grocery store today withmy boyfriend, Collin. He was buying razor blades. Just the blades, for his non disposable razor handle When faced with all the options, he didn’t even flinch. He went straight for the Gilette. When I pointed out a cheaper alternative, and still from a name brand, he didn’t care. He opted to spend almost $2.00 more on Gillette razors. This is a guy who doesn’t claim brand loyalty to anything, save a good Budweiser.

Why? Because on his 18th birthday, Gillette sent him a razor stem and one pack of blades. He packed it up and took it to college. When it came time to get new blades (his first time grocery shopping/hygeine shopping regularly without mom), he just went straight for the familiar packaging. He’s been hooked for 8 years now. And will be a customer of theirs for life. He’s even upgraded a few Machs. But won’t switch brands. And he still remembers getting that letter.

Why did that work an other great DMpackages fail? My hypothesis is that it was perfectly timed with leaving for college. And memorable because of the birthday. A double whammy. Or was there less DM advertising in the early 2000s, and it stood out as unique? Woud the same peice now get lost in the crowd? Or was it early enough in his life to just be an exciting piece of mail? Think about it, you don’t get much mail until post college. It would stand out. Especially if it was offering you something free, and something that made you feel manly. Or maybe he’s just an easy target?

This is a youtube clip of a dude explaining how much he loved his 18th bday gift from Gillette. This was not the only youtube video that talked about this DM tactic. There were many hits on Google around this topic, and all of them positive…which I think really says a lot. Not only does it work, it gets buzz. Good buzz. 

This is not Collin in the video. Though he does have similarly puffy hair.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Crystal permalink*
    September 15, 2008 3:40 pm

    Wow. That was so cool to see a dimensional DM package have that kind of emotional punch and do all of the trial/loyalty stuff it’s supposed to. I wish he’d shaved on camera …

    I think you’re right that the insight here is about timing and a rite of passage. And maybe some perceived value/realness of that kind of razor. Aren’t they heavier and kinda dangerous with blades and such and surely more grown up feeling in your hand than a plastic one …

    I think you tubes about the package is a nice new metric for DM response. Thanks for posting.

  2. Susan Schultz permalink
    September 22, 2008 11:05 am

    The guy in the you tube video doesn’t appear to use his razor much, even though he loves it.
    I agree that the timing of the DM and the product itself work together for its success. Besides a $5 bill and a birthday card from grandma, plus your selective service registration reminder, what other mail does an 18 year old get? 18 is when you become a legal adult. Shaving represents the transition to manhood. Could a company do the same thing for girls? I think they’d catch all manner of crap for sending out feminine hygiene products or training bras.
    If only we could send them voter registration cards when folks turn 18…

  3. Tammy permalink
    September 24, 2008 4:08 pm

    Thought you might to see some other activity related to shaving, courtesy of Promo Xtra:

    Philips Norelco Pushes Shaver with ‘Manalogues’
    Philips Norelco, the company behind the “Shave Everywhere” body grooming site that got its message across with produce, is adding comedy monologues to its microsite to get the same buzz going for its new model shaver.

    The “Manalogues,” available at http://www.ShaveEverywhere.com, offer video clips of comic Bryan Callen performing irreverent presentations of five different stories about men doing some manscaping on the south forty, so to speak, and enjoying the benefits.

    Visitors can register applause during the clips by tapping on their computer space bars, and can also see where others before them have applauded.

    The Web site is also accepting users’ real-life stories in text form, with the promise that the best of those will be turned into Manalogues sometime in the future. The clips, however, can’t be forwarded and aren’t available for posting.

    “Body hair is something that is vastly common among adult men, but not many6 actually know how to deal with it,” Philips Norelco Marketing Vice President Arjen Linders said in a statement. “ShaveEverywhere.com and the Bodygroom Manalogues infuse a little humor into the situation while still providing men with information they can use in their daily lives.”

    The ShaveEverywhere.com Web site went up in 2006 and immediately generated viral buzz for its amusing video using carrots and kiwi fruit to get around talking about private areas. The site received more than 1 million views during its first month, and the videos are still available.

    The new Manalogue enhancements are timed to Philips’ launch of a new updated shaver, the Bodygroom+ BG2030. and Target. Visitors can click through links on the site to purchase the groomer online from Amazon.com or Drugstore.com. The new model is also being sold through Target stores.

    Tribal DDB handled the creative for the original ShaveEverywhere.com site.

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