Cannes Lions


MEDIACOM, London / GILLETTE / 2009

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The Gillette Mach 3 is a great product, but in a low interest category for Indian men. To persuade them to buy Mach 3, we needed to persuade them that shaving was important.Conventional advertising alone could not create this shift in attitudes. We needed to spark a national debate, to get shaving out of the bathroom and into the living room, chat rooms and conversations.

We did this by commissioning the first survey on shaving and then sparking a national debate: “India votes: To shave or not”. Research highlighted a series of controversial points that were sure to get the nation talking, and our powerful communication model generated buzz across India. Provocative questions like ‘do women prefer clean-shaven men’, ‘are clean-shaven men more successful’ etc, created immediate interest and hit primetime news. We organized PR events with celebrities; polls and interviews carried out across key TV channels, radio stations, newspapers and magazines, in malls, gyms, and cinemas. The first Indian Shaving Debate was on.


First, we piqued the nation’s interest by commissioning the first ever Nielsen survey on the country’s attitudes to shaving. Research highlighted a series of controversial points. Were clean-shaven men more successful? Did the nation prefer clean-shaven celebrities? And the big one: Did women prefer clean-shaven men?The provocative results created immediate interest and hit primetime news. As expected, people were ready with their point of view! And the Great Indian Shaving Debate was on.For eight weeks, leading TV news and radio stations ran celebrity interviews, panel discussions and news stories. Newspapers and men’s magazines carried editorial features and reader polls.In a PR event, Bollywood stars shaved off their famous stubble in front of the media.Live polling conducted in malls, gyms, cinemas and offices kept the debate raging, and offered men a chance to trial the product.All media directed people to to cast their vote.


This powerful, radical and unique communications model set all time sales records for Gillette with a dramatic sales increase of 38%.

Awareness doubled!Trial increased by a staggering 400%!Gillette market share increased by 35%.In an unprecedented frenzy, 12.2 million Indians voted for a clean shave.'The program has been a very innovative, business building program that has had impact on brand equity and trials. It’s been an inspiring combination of educating and entertaining the consumer. This program has helped Gillette achieve leadership in the blades segment'.- Sumeet Vohra, Marketing Director, P&G India'Well done. Great idea and excellent execution. Clearly a big driver of the record Mach 3 share'; Shantanu Khoshla, Managing Director, P&G India

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