That Gillette Ad -- Now For The 'Science Bit'

It seems nearly everyone in social media has had their say on the Gillette ad. it's either a patronising piece of PC nonsense that will backfire on the P&G brand or a sensitive, values-based piece of thought leadership.

Now, though, we have what shampoo or skin care brands often refer to as "the science bit." Realeyes has been taking a look at the ad to see what people feel when it is in front of them, not just when venting their anger or love for the ad hours later on Twitter. The company claims to be able to read the emotions of people signed up to take part in their market research. This is backed up by a questionnaire. 

The overwhelming result? Yes, the ad does divide opinion, but positive and negative thoughts about it go up and down during the ad. So the first takeaway is what the researchers call "captivating." Emotion goes up and down on the chart, but people never do what an advertiser fears the most --  ignore their message overall.

The interesting final point is that it appeals far more to the young than the old and far more to women than men.

Women are more than 50% more positive toward the ad than men. And people under 30 are, again, around 50% more positive toward the ad than 30- to-49-year-olds. Where we really see a dropoff is that the over-50s simply don't like the ad at all, their positivity is hard to even measure and comes in around 10 times less positive than a 30- to-49-year-old.

In case you were wondering, the responses are very similar both sides of the Atlantic. That's worth pointing out because it does come over as a very American ad using an American voice, American scenes -- and dare I say, a bit of a "cheesy" approach. Nevertheless, the message hit home on both sides of the pond. 

In a nutshell, if you're male and over 50 and love a whinge, this ad wasn't for you. If you're under 30 and/or if you're female, it's speaking directly to you. 

I was wondering this point when I first saw it. It was obviously a message that would play well with younger people and women and was maybe an attempt to win over the hearts and minds of young consumers. They don't have a long history with a razor brand and would, in theory, happily switch to Dollar Shave Club without a second thought. Maybe it was a reaction to a high proportion of young males with beards to get shaving? It's not just me who's noticed that, is it?

Whatever the intention, it's fair to say how you see the ad depends on gender and age and finding a target audience to speak to is what good advertising is all about, isn't it? If you're a man over 50 (not quite there yet myself) then you were likely to have hated the ad, but then again, would you really switch razor blades because of it?

The young are still making up their minds and have more choice than before with online direct-to-consumer offerings, and so it's fair to say that Gillette had this marketing firmly in mind.

I was suggesting we all give Gillette a break last week -- and now there's maybe a clearer reason why it deserves, at the very least, the benefit of the doubt. The brand knew millennials and women were its target audience and was wiling to take a Twitter-bashing from older males.

To suggest Gillette doesn't know what it's doing is wrong. It clearly does, and it's looking for a younger, more feminine conversation with consumers. Time will tell whether it is a winning strategy or not, but to suggest it hasn't got a clue is disingenuous. 

1 comment about "That Gillette Ad -- Now For The 'Science Bit'".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, January 21, 2019 at 8:11 p.m.

    This campaign confirms the research that the world is divided into two groups of people - people who believe the world is divided into two groups of people, and people who don't.

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