Cannes Lions

SHAVE SEXY

BBDO CHINA, Shanghai / PROCTER & GAMBLE / 2013

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

Spear-headed by Japanese idol Sora Aoi, ‘Shave Sexy’ was a PR-led idea that underpinned a bold shift to Gillette’s communications strategy in China.

The challenge was major category erosion: men in China were no longer able to see past the inconvenience of wet shaving (preparation, shave, wash, care), driving 18.3 million men every year to switch to more convenient dry shavers. For Gillette this represented US$647.2 million in lost earnings between 06’-12’, and it was clear that wet shaving’s benefit needed an overhaul. Simply put, we needed to give men a better reason to wet shave.

Everything changed when Gillette launched ‘Shave Sexy’. Having unearthed the insight that women in China find wet shaving extremely arousing to watch, we appointed controversial Japanese idol Sora Aoi to spearhead the charge for category conversion- a major contrast to Gillette’s staple of celebrated male athletes. Enlisting her help to post a series of ‘unbranded’ content to her 13 million adoring male fans, then amplifying campaign reach with strategically crafted editorial (FHM) and key opinion leader involvement, ‘Shave Sexy’ reached 197 million people, reversed the growth of the dry shaver category for the first time in 4 years, and helped Gillette record its highest ever launch month sales.

By radically reframing the benefits of wet shaving from inconvenient to sexy, Sora Aoi helped ‘Shave Sexy’ herald a new era of communications for Gillette, one that delivered value men can see.

Execution

INCITING A ‘SHAVE SEXY’ NATIONAL DEBATE

Releasing the video of this ‘unbranded’ experiment through weibo accounts (China’s Twitter) of a popular celebrity (Japanese idol Sora Aoi) and target-relevant FHM, ‘Shave Sexy’ became a meme overnight. Then, carefully deployed media buys and dialogue-seeding from key opinion leaders drove men to prolifically tweet about ‘Shave Sexy’, debate it, and even reference it in their everyday conversations. ‘Un-planned’ celebrities soon got involved by posting photos of themselves wet shaving, driving men all over China to do the same, amplifying ‘Shave Sexy’ even more. Within one week, ‘Shave Sexy’ was featured on every news portal, men’s magazines and even national radio.

CUE BRANDED CONTENT

At the height of activity, an integrated series of ‘branded’ initiatives- from TV spots, radio spots and on-ground events in high prospect cities to in-store placements across key stores- were released to drive dry shaver conversion for Gillette.

Outcome

‘Shave Sexy’ achieved all 3 objectives:

Result 1: Gillette’s most successful campaign to date

‘Shave Sexy’ reached 197 million people; a 198.5% increase on the launch of Fusion. Furthermore, ‘Shave Sexy’ drove 200,000 interactions, triple that of Fusion and exceeding Nike’s hugely successful ‘Greatness’ Olympics campaign in 2012 [P&G].

Result 2: Reversed growth of dry shaving category for the first time since 2009

‘Shave Sexy’ reversed the monthly sales of the dry shavers by -21% [P&G]. Against the dry shaving category’s 3 year compound growth rate, this translated to a category decline of -34% or a shortfall of 200,000 dry shaver units; equivalent to an entire month’s sales of Philips.

Result 3: Helped Gillette achieve its highest ever sales growth

‘Shave Sexy’ tripled the value growth of Gillette in December (10.2% vs. Nov 2012). This represents the highest launch sales month in the history of Gillette’s business in China.

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