Schick Goes After Gillette With Hydro 5
by Karl Greenberg, Yesterday, 4:37 PM
The shaving division of Energizer Personal Care is mocking Gillette in a new campaign for its Hydro 5 shaver. The campaign, which is entirely online, takes a different approach from prior Hydro 5 creative. Ads for Schick Hydro have thus far focused on features like its “Hydrating Gel Reservoir” with creative offering metaphors for the shaving/hydration experience.
But the new ads, with football and baseball themes, compete directly with the big dog in the category, whose Fusion ProGlide launched shortly after the 2009 launch of Schick Hydro.
The central message of the Web video ads is that men prefer the Schick Hydro 5 over Gillette Fusion ProGlide, and can get it at a lower price. The video spots began running on Wednesday on sports and men’s lifestyle digital verticals. The effort includes a Schick Hydro 5 deal on Facebook.com/HydroExperience offering a $1 discount. The campaign also talks about such product features as skin guards on the blades and built-in flip trimmer.
Until now, Hydro creative has featured vignettes in which everyday objects turn into exploding showers of water. In one, a guy kicks a soccer ball and it turns into water and explodes. In another, a guy’s girlfriend hits him with a pillow, which turns into water, dousing him.
The new ads show pro football and baseball athletes in action, but with their faces pixilated out of focus. The voiceover explains that while Gillette gets celebrity athletes to endorse its ProGlide shaver, Schick is endorsed by everyone else (cut to shots of the crowd doing the wave.) The ads also say ProGlide has none of Hydro’s features and costs more nonetheless.
The company touted its Schick Hydro Blast razor last year with a campaign on Thrillist’s JackThreads.com fashion site, with a “Choose-Your-Own Adventure” theme.
Last year Schick also ran a Web campaign touting its Xtreme3 product. The consumer-generated content campaign was all about “razorbombing,” wherein people could upload photos illustrating how they “shave the world” by doctoring photos of famous objects, for to win $10,000.
Patrick Kane, senior brand manager for Schick Hydro, tells Marketing Daily that the company’s digital/social programs and coverage on social media have done a good job of building awareness and reach. The company launched the Schick Hydro Power Select Razor at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which garnered a lot of earned media, he says.
“We got a lot of pickup within social networks, which was a pleasant surprise,” he says, adding that the product also got play in tech pages at the New York Times, and other top-shelf consumer publications “We had one of our engineers there who gave the razor to [tech writer and Leoville.com blogger] Leo Laporte. He tweeted about it and talked about it in a podcast. Two weeks later, [actor] Steve Martin tweeted about not being able to find it. So you get this pickup from social, but you really can’t predict when it happens.”
The company is seeing steady growth in awareness and sales, per Kane, with activity picking up at a faster rate now than at launch two years ago. “Which is unusual,” he adds. “As time has progressed and word gets out, this continues to build. When we launched in 2010 we thought we had lightning in a bottle, so we engaged in consumer research to compare it with the competitive product because you want to know how you compete against the other guy’s best game, and we were pleased. We are a smaller company but we can put wins on the board. We are seeing much better trial and repeat rates, which give us a lot of good feelings about the market.”
Separately, Schick’s Xtreme3 shaving brand has launched a product called Schick Xtreme3 Eco, which the company says is the first disposable razor to use 100% recycled plastic in the production of its handle and 100% post-consumer paper in its packaging.
Schick says the product is manufactured and shipped out of the company’s 99.9% landfill-free facility in Milford, Conn. The new product, for both men and women is at Wal-Mart with wider national distribution in April.