In tough times, Gillette can give you the confidence to succeed. That is the message Procter & Gamble’s premium-priced razor brand is trying to get across with a new spot, which broke during the New York Yankees’ home opener today (Thursday).
The ad, via Omnicom’s BBDO, New York, which debuted on Yankee Stadium’s big screen at the Yankees/Cleveland Indians game, doesn’t show the usual product demo. Instead it reprises a famous scene from the 1970s classic Saturday Night Fever.
Similar to the movie’s main character Tony Manero, played by John Travolta, Gillette “champions” Derek Jeter, Tiger Woods and Roger Federer each walk down a New York street strutting their stuff to the beat of the Bee Gees’ “Staying Alive.” (Federer, in particular, dons ridiculously high-heeled silver shoes.) Point is, Gillette gives men the ability to “look, feel and be their best,” said the brand’s rep, Mike Norton. The spot ends with the tagline: “Here’s to confidence.”
Gillette will air the ads at all 17 of the Yankees’ home games. It also will give out approximately 1,000 razors at each game, as well as another 500 each day. (The spot directs consumers to Gillette.com/walk for a chance to win a free Fusion razor.) The offer runs through May 16.
P&G, which spent $232 million advertising Gillette in 2008 in the U.S., excluding online, per Nielsen, is also running the spot on YouTube and Gillette.com. BBDO’s Proximity office in Canada is handling digital duties.
Tom McCartin, president of New York ad agency WKP-Spier, said the commercial resonates with both young and old consumers—which is a hard feat in advertising. On the one hand, there is the unmistaken parallel to Saturday Night Fever, and younger fans will no doubt recognize Jeter, the first of the three champions to appear in the spot.
At the same time, stadium advertising—like commercials that run in movies—are sometimes seen as an intrusion to the viewing experience. “One might wonder if it might backfire, especially in a market like New York,” McCartin said. “[Consumers] may feel like ‘we paid top dollars for these seats, and now we are watching this commercial.’”
Lee Igel, a professor at New York University’s Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management school, however, asserted that P&G is paying top-dollar to advertise to the brand’s “premium market.” “They are doing this in the Yankee stadium, which interestingly enough, is a stadium that’s . . . built specifically for a high-end consumer,” Igel said.
According to P&G, sales for Gillette Fusion rose by double-digits between October and December. Gillette Fusion also became the largest brand in the U.S. systems market, per P&G.