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Industry Shaving
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Released August 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Social Media
Advertiser: GILLETTE
Media placement: Online Placement - - 21 April 2010
Media placement: Online Placement - - 10 May 2010

Summary of the Campaign
It was summer 2010; "razor fatigue" lay over the minds of men everywhere. Guys were satisfied with their current shaving system, seeing no reason to trade-up.
This was the challenge we faced when Gillette wanted to launch its new Gillette Fusion ProGlide razor (GFPG).
The most effective way to overcome the enormous skepticism and lethargy was to create "real men" advocates, letting them endorse the razor and convert their peers, laying the foundation for our two-pronged campaign.
During "pre-launch," we engaged key influencers by hosting an event to introduce GFPG to long-lead editors, providing bloggers with a social media widget offering readers free samples, and hosting a blogger forum to seed the product innovation story.
In the "launch" phase, we created the "Ultimate Summer Job" (USJ) contest, selecting two regular guys as brand ambassadors to travel cross-country and attend VIP events while encouraging guys to try GFPG.
This led to the most successful razor launch in Gillette’s history; GFPG became the number one razor in the category in its second week.
We exceeded our goal of 50% awareness, reaching 56% awareness by the end of May – one week before broad retail availability and mass advertising.

The Situation
It was the summer of 2010, the height of what we like to call "Shaving Ennui."
"Razor Fatigue" was a major issue impacting men everywhere. Comedians had a field day with the ever-growing number of blades in a razor. To make matters worse, guys were satisfied with their current shaving system.

That was the challenge we faced when Gillette wanted to launch their new GFPG.
How do we escape the conundrum of multiple blades?
Our guy wasn’t just bored, he was skeptical. So our biggest problem was to solve was the belief that there was no problem to be solved.

The Goal
Had this launch happened ten years earlier, we would have solely relied on the press to tell our story. But in 2010, we knew the only way to overcome the enormous skepticism and lethargy in the category was to let men tell the story to each other. That’s why our social media effort was the key to everything.

• Build From Guys Out, Not Brand In
• Put consumers at the centre of the launch effort
• Convert skeptics into believers
• Generate an ongoing digital dialogue, well beyond launch
• Spur widespread consumer-generated content, including contestant videos and Twitter chatter

The Strategy
To turn "skeptics into believers" quickly, we developed an "always on" approach that continually monitored, measured and created response protocol to consumer feedback and sentiment we saw online. We measured the success of our current messaging based upon the content of the responses, and optimized our strategy and tactics with real-time data.

Led by our Gillette Community Manager, the "always on" social media strategy meant we were constantly –in real time – engaging guys and other influential audiences. Pivotal elements included:
• Seeding the marketplace with a targeted pre-launch effort and to begin building word-of-mouth awareness and momentum for GFPG
• Using our social media presence to put guys at the center of the launch
• Providing product advocates and influential bloggers super-targeted communications and custom-designed special events to get them excited
• Maintaining a consumer digital dialogue that continues today

• Created a "VIP Sampling" program encouraging bloggers to write about GFPG and to post a "widget" on their sites offering readers free samples
• Allowed a "multi-logue" where guys could share samples with friends through a digital widget
• Hosted a P&G Male Grooming Blogger Forum to heighten brand awareness among influencers while encouraging discussion
• Initiated a Community Manager-led effort to connect with prospective consumers through crowd sourcing initiatives (i.e. leveraging Gillette talent such as Derek Jeter) and Facebook giveaways

• Rewarded Facebook loyalists by extending invitations to attend the "Ultimate Summer Job" contest event; tweeted during the event to share news with those unable to attend
• Developed targeted communications, sampling contests and other events for advocates and influencers
• Addressed consumer questions via Gillette’s social media channels

Documented Results
GFPG is the most successful razor launch in Gillette history, and quickly became the number one razor in the category in only its second week. We exceeded our goal of 50% awareness, reaching 56% awareness by the end of May – one week before retail availability and mass advertising.
Awareness of GFPG continued to grow: 66% through June and 72% through July.

• After taking the temperature of our online community in February, signs of conversion were visible by June: 86% of social media comments surrounding the new razor were positive (“believers”); 14% were negative (“skeptics”)

• Distributed 81,000 samples through widget

• Distributed 11,000 samples to consumers via Facebook giveaways
• More than 7.3 million Twitter impressions

• Increased Twitter followers by 176% and Facebook fans by 47% during the pre-launch phase


• More than 42,000 YouTube views

• More than 2,000 Facebook social interactions