Monday, June 2, 2014

Gillette - Look Sharp, Feel Sharp, Be Sharp

Let's play the Brand-Tagline game. What's the one tagline that comes to mind when I say - Gillette
'The Best A Man Can Get,' right? 

No, this post is not about that 1989 born slogan created by BBDO, that first received an audience during the then Super Bowl game. In fact, this is not about a slogan at all. This story is about a little birdie that BBDO created for Gillette, 62 years ago. 

Time-travel time. Year 1952: BBDO creates an animated parrot to sound off Gillette's message - Look sharp, feel sharp, be sharp. The parrot is baptised as Sharpie. What follows is a jingle that later becomes popular as 'The Look Sharp March.' Here goes the rhythmic script: 

Look sharp, feel sharp, be sharp …
And listen mister!
How are you fixed for blades? (do you have many?)
How are you fixed for blades? (you’d better check!)
Please make sure you have enough –
‘cos a worn-out blade makes shaving mighty tough!
How are you fixed for blades? (you’d better look!)
Gillette Blue blades are neat!

You better look at the original video as well now: 

Chartbuster: Composed by Mahlon Merrick (of The Jack Benny Show fame), the march was first aired during the 1952 World Series (of Baseball, where Gillette was the *coughs* official sponsor) match played between the Dodgers and the Yankees. Consequently, 'The Look Sharp March' turned out to be the most played march at high school and college football game half-time shows in the USA for almost two decades.


Value for money: Gillette did not spend a fortune on the television campaigns initially, since the brand was not sure of the effectiveness of TV as a medium. But whatever little they invested, reaped them higher than expected value for the brand. With the advent of Nielsen's Audience data, they were able to correlate the arrival of television in every household, with their rising sales figures. (Their very own *huge sigh of relief moment*) Some reports from that time suggest that the parrot was as popular as the sport stars of that period. 

Breakup: Gillette recently ended its 80 year long relationship with BBDO by awarding its creative mandate to Grey Worldwide across regions. BBDO that created its spokesbird, its famous tagline and fetched the first Creative Effectiveness Award at Cannes Lions 2011 for Shave Sutra - Women against lazy stubble (that was from India). Grey has a tough legacy to match up to.  

 - Shephali 

Pictures courtesy:

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