Gillette May Plan Big Super Bowl Blitz

forbes.com

Gillette May Plan Big Super Bowl Blitz

Greg Levine, 12.22.05, 12:07 PM ET

NEW YORK – Gillette is a man’s-man brand. Sure, it makes batteries, toothbrushes–and Venus Divine shavers for the fairer sex. It even introduced the first razors made specifically for women: Milady Décolletée, in 1915.

But with signature goods bearing rip-roaring names reminiscent of Arnold Schwarzenegger B-movies–Mach 3 Turbo comes to mind–the Gillette brand is synonymous with XY chromosomes. So it is only fitting that its manliest innovation yet will be launched with an NFL ad drive.

According to an AdAge online report, a retail executive said Gillette’s Fusion/Fusion Power shaving system is set to tackle the public with a TV spot on Super Bowl XL.

As Faces In The News reported in September, the Fusion shaver boasts a staggering five blades, six counting the hair-trimmer device on the obverse–obviously not for sissies. The closest rival is the paltry four-bladed Quattro razor, from Energizer Holdings unit Schick-Wilkinson Sword. (See: “Kilts’ Gillette Amazes With New Five-Blade Razor”)

A big push for a big product bundle would be key, as Gillette was swallowed up by household-goods maker Procter & Gamble. Led by Chairman, president and Chief Executive A.G. Lafley, P&G paid some $57 billion for Gillette and overcame a legal challenge by Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin, who sought to block the merger on the grounds that the acquirer was paying too little. But the U.S. Federal Trade Commission eventually cleared the combo, which was cemented on Oct. 1. Gillette’s former CEO James M. Kilts became the hybrid company’s vice chairman.

But according to the report, a Gillette spokesman maintained that “We have announced no plans as of yet” for Super Bowl ads, adding, “We have advertised in the past on the Super Bowl, not every year but from time to time, either to support the launch of a new product or a new marketing campaign.”

But for a product family Kilts hailed as a “breakthrough platform?” Smart money says watch for the TV spot.