In the highly competitve razor sector, Gillette is currently the leader. And soon with the possible sale to P&G, they'll have more money and resources behind them. So what are the rest of the shaving industry to do? Come out with new products and use technology and innovation to climb to the top. This month Schick (owned by Energizer) has launched an advertising campaign for a new women's razor, the Schick Quattro for Women.
Schick's press release states:
By simplifying the shaving process with the unique skin conditioning solid, Schick has proven that women respond to a product that truly addresses their lifestyle needs.
But the bigger question is will they respond to the advertising for the product?
An article from STLToday claims that the target is the "active girl next door".
Schick is basing its Quattro for Women marketing on the technology. A Web site to build buzz, www.holdonladies.com (which now redirects to www.quattroforwomen.com), explains how each element of the razor helps achieve a closer, more comfortable shave. It also gives instructions on the best way to shave legs and offers special tips for removing hair from more delicate areas.
"Using a high-performance, four-blade razor can be quite an adjustment," said Cindy Elizabeth-John, a talking cartoon "tub-side operator" featured on the Web site. "That's why we're here to help make your hair-free journey a carefree journey."
With sleek lines and smooth movements, the Web site is designed to look like an automotive site, because cars represent innovation, said Cindy Abella, senior brand manager for Schick Quattro for Women.
But some of the Web site's content is more risque.
A "beefcake" section includes photos and downloads of a shirtless man in a vest, chaps and cowboy hat riding a razor, and of a man in boxers washing down a sudsy razor.
Another area of the Web site explains "Quattro lingo." One example: "Chastity pelt, noun, What you have on your legs when you intentionally go without shaving before a date as a way of making yourself behave."
Abella said some of the language is tongue-and-cheek and a little edgy.
"We're really trying to talk to women," she said. "We want her to join our club. It's a very different market strategy."
Trying. Operative word here. Seems more like they are insulting women by talking to them the way they'd talk to men - about sports cars.
The idea behind the innovation of the razor is that Schick found that many women stole "their man's razor" and so looked for a way to incorporate what women liked about male razors into this new one.
And that's all fine and dandy. But do women see cars as a symbol of innovation? Even for those who are car buffs I'm not sure that is the case. Maybe high-performance, but not innovation. Then again, maybe they are using these words interchangably not realizing that they don't mean the same thing. I think there's a lot of client fiddling going on with this marketing/ad campaign...and that's part of the reason for it being as crappy as it is. It's words and ideas straight out of some marketing research study, without much creative behind it. And their strategy is showing...big time!
But, it's strange though. What's with the racing analogy to razors? The fact that olympic swimmers shave everywhere? Even Gillette's ads are all about performence and this new one of theirs for the Gillette M3 Power Nitro even uses a car to talk to performance. (Superadgrunts click on the image to view the ad)
Even in print, Schick seems to miss the boat.
When I saw this ad I had to stop. And not because I thought it was good. First part of the headline, OK. Second part, not so ok. "Chicks dig it." As a female that's supposed to draw me into the ad? And, yes this ad was found in a women's magazine. Then I started thinking, perhaps "chicks" is a play on "schicks" or something. But who would get that flipping through a magazine the way most people do? Probably no one.