Schick advertising tries to be edgy

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, (which now redirects to, 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.

Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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Dabitch's picture

Ok.. Now that copy on the website.. Some of that is rather funny, like Chastity pelt, *chuckle*... Cute. It feels like that has a whole 'nother attitude than the print ad.

Because honestly, I just don't get that ad. Had it been a sleek sportscar-ad placed in a womans magazine, with that headline, I would have loved it. "Chicks dig it", hell yeah, I do. Now that would be funny.

With the razor though.. Is it irony? Is it.. uh.. No I'm missing something here.

aiiobo's picture

Agreed the website things sound much better.

What is with the razors and racecar connction? Or speed connection at all? Mach1-2-3 and jetfighters breaking the sound barrier. I really don't understand that.

Dabitch's picture

I have a secret to share with Schick, why women like their mens razors.... It's the price. Not just that it' s "free" to steal your boyfriends, but have you ever compared the price of one of those pink frilly brand razor things, and their blades, to a mans version? The pink ones are twice as expensive at times, how stupid does [insert brand name here] think I am? My boyfriend steals my blades because I buy the same razor as he does! ;)

troymcclure's picture

Whoa. When I first saw the print ad, I thought it was for some kind of bizarre sexual aid. At least the headline would've made more sense.

Dabitch's picture

Now that would have been a great ad!

AnonymousCoward's picture

The language.... born of marketing. Quattro speak? Grasping for the marketing street cred straw. Slack.

Chicks diggit is a grrrrrl band. Methinks that's where that headline may have come from.... due to copyright restrictions, they probably couldn't spell it that way though. Just a guess.

High Performance? Ya, what's with the car thing. Aren't there any high performance bicycles? What. That too uncool? Nyet!

Would women in Europe give a damn about "Penguin-Style"?

This no hair anywhere is a North American fetish. I suppose it's what one is accustomed to though. Or are we a tad over influenced by advertising and buying into the myth and now think That's normal.

"Chastity Pelt"? To make oneself behave? That's rather odd and smecks of religiocity. Nay, Puritanism. Would a guy [say he's single, no gf for argument sake] think this? Nope. Why would a woman then? What is it, Puritan week or something? So the noun is funny enough, but the reasoning, bullshit. Some men may prefer no shaving at all....

As for the screen savers and wallpaper..... oh my. Some cowboy riding a giant Quattro? Yikes! ok, maybe for some dudette. But a quattro shaver as a screen saver? That's right geeky. I could understand a Schick dildo as a screen saver.... but...what, they don't make dildo's? Maybe they should.

I agree with DaBitch, men's 3 blade razor's are cheaper and many women know that.... I guess Schick's advertising agency of record withheld THAT information from Schick. ooops.


For Men and Women

Essays on shaving, no less

The Traditional Double Edge, single blade razor [the kind grandpappy used]

AnonymousCoward's picture

Okay, I agree with the comments about the print ad (I can't see the commercial so I'll suspend comments on that).

I think the web site was a different story. I think the web agency must have taken the same brief and breathed life into it.

You want offensive, check out the crap in the women's shaving category. (see "Venus" and "Intuition" stuff)
This site has some self-aware humor and brings some fun to a boring subject. I think the terms are great--and consider this--they just might be true. Gasp.