Ashwini Gangal

Emvies 2010: Mediacom Communications creates waves with shaves

Media agency Mediacom Communications presented its case study in the Consumer Products category for Gillette Mach3, a brand that urged women to encourage men to shave; it broke a Guinness World Record in the bargain

Mediacom Communications was shortlisted in the Best Media Strategy - Consumer Products category for its WALS (Women Against Lazy Stubble) campaign for brand Gillette Mach3. This was the first time a media agency created a communication strategy for a brand. The exercise was called The Shave India Movement.

The WALS campaign was given coverage across 22 TV channels with more than 10 hours of programming content; it was also promoted across 200 cinema screens, 5000 OOH screens and 20 radio stations.

Emvies 2010: Mediacom Communications creates waves with shaves
The main template that the strategy rode on was the fact that men didn't consider razors to be intrinsic to grooming. Specifically, it was noted that men shaved properly only for special occasions. Shaving was viewed as a task to be shirked at the first opportunity and men saw no perceived emotional pay off from shaving. In general, the inertia to shave harboured by the Indian male was to be attacked.

Thus, the insight was to create a strong trigger for the target group (TG) to start using the product on a regular basis. The co-strategy was to enlist the power and influence of women to convert men from being lazy about shaving to being regular shavers. Women were used as a tool to rise to the challenge of delivering this message to a TG that didn't want to be preached to.

To put this into action, the media agency drew heavily on the results of a Nielsen study. This study drew primarily on the survey tool. The survey, conducted by Gillette in association with The Nielsen Company, was carried out across Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Patna. About 1,000 men and women in the age bracket of 15-45 years, belonging to SEC AB, were interviewed to gauge the preference for the clean-shaven look.

The results declared that 90 per cent women preferred clean shaven men to unshaven men. Interestingly, 86 per cent of the surveyed men also preferred the clean-shaven look.

These results were released on popular media and helped fight against the counter effect generated by celebrity fashion icons who sported stubbles.

Interestingly, men were given trial shaves in malls by women; more than 10,000 men were shaved in all. Additionally, the Gillette 'Shaveathon' was held shortly after the launch of the product. The event was a success so much so that the Guinness World Record for 'maximum number people shaving simultaneously' was broken - 1,858 men successfully shaved during this event.

The event also created India's first shaving record in the Limca Book of Records for 'the most number of men shaving in a day at the same place'.

Consequently, in a matter of merely two months, product sales went up by 500 per cent (Mach3 sales went up five times during the activity period) and the brand's market share went up by 400 per cent. It is noteworthy that the 'Shaveathon' got more than 7,00,000 hits on Google and 4,000 fans on Facebook in the first three weeks.

The campaign also achieved seven times higher free media value than the previous year's prequel campaign.

For the record, the 'Shaveathon' movement was held on December 14 in Mumbai's Chitrakoot Grounds and was ideated by BBDO India.