Bad marketing stopped me buying a good product

I expected the Gilette Fusion razor to be shit.

I know I’m about 14 months late pointing out the uncanny way that The Onion predicted it in their seminal article ‘Fuck Everything, We’re Doing Five Blades’. But I’m sure that was part of setting my expectations. And I’m sure that the other part of that was their dreadful, patronising, stereotype-based marketing.

But here’s the funny thing. In desperation to find a way of shaving that didn’t randomly give me a horrible rash, in time for my wedding, I tried the Fusion. And it works. Really, really well. It looks pretty awful, feels only OK, but it shaves really smoothly with no rash at all. The silly single blade on the back is about as useful as the rubber tongue scraper on my toothbrush, but I suppose it was necessary to trump the Onion at their own game (‘6 blades!’).

So the reason I hadn’t tried Gilette’s new product earlier was because of their dreadful marketing, or satire inspired by their previously dreadful marketing. I might have tried the product earlier if I’d just discovered for myself, without interruption.

Let me say that again. Gillette’s marketing put me off buying a product that is perfect for me.

I’m all for brands being exclusive, as Mark Ritson advocates in this week’s Marketing. But surely excluding people in your target audience for whom your product was designed is going too far?



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