Gillette Is 'Stayin' Alive' With Viral Effort
The video hearkens back to the opening sequence of "Saturday Night Fever" and the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive."
The 60-second video is running at Gillette.com, YouTube and other channels, as well as during the 17 home Yankee games over the next month. And to date, the video has scored about half a million views between gillette.com and YouTube in less than two weeks.
Jon Krevolin, BBDO creative director, says the promotional effort is the wave of the future for the normally staid brand. "Incremental changes [to how Gillette marketing] are happening from the outside, and viral is the way to do that," he says. "This was completely different from how they have done things in past."
He says Gillette follows a pragmatic go-to-market strategy, leading with TV, print, and testing. But Krevolin says the response to the video campaign has thawed that mindset. "Traffic is up at Gillette.com, and the "CBS Morning Show" picked it up, unaided." The program showed the entire 60-second video and commented on it.
Krevolin says he wants to generate a lot more talk about the brand. "When you go to Google and type in 'shaving,' Gillette should be right there. Now it's not even on the page." He says the brand needs buzz programs that focus less on product attributes and more on a "confidence" attitude embodied by the three athletes. "I want Gillette to be spoken about in different way; it needs to be relevant and contemporary to consumers, especially younger consumers."
He was knocking the idea around a year ago; Gillette liked it but didn't know what to do with it. "To [Gillette's] credit, they kept bringing it back, asking 'how can we use it?'" Krevolin says twice a year the agency has shoots in Florida with both Woods and Jeter, given both athletes' time constraints.
"We literally skipped lunch to shoot it. First, I went to Jeter's trailer and told him Tiger was into it; then I went into Tiger's trailer and told him Jeter was into it. I literally put them up to it." Federer was in Dubai at the time, so the agency had to shoot him in front of a green screen later.
He said the company and agency came up with the giveaway promotion organically, not merely to support the video or vice versa. "We have been pushing for viral from day one. They were open to it, so we squeezed the video in." He says Gillette still saw the video as a commercial, so "it seemed perfect as the new Yankee stadium was opening, and Jeter is in the video," to run the video on the stadium's Jumbo-tron screens and get people to try the Fusion razors.
He says the video reflects creative changes in Gillette's Web site. "We are trying to add more of an entertainment element to the site; you have to earn peoples' attention." The agency just launched a new microsite devoted to body grooming and is making a new series of viral films about body grooming. "Purely educational and functional [online messaging] is important, but what's lacking is entertainment, glitz, and engagement, which keep people there."