IQ News: Gillette’s Mach 3 Media Heft Hits Web: European Sites Next?

With its inaugural Web ad campaign for the Mach 3 razor just getting under way in North America, Gillette is mulling sites in Europe as it targets young male shavers that it might otherwise miss in its heavy rotation of TV spots.
As part of $300 million budgeted across a variety of media for the launch of Mach 3, the company earlier this month began its Web media component. A rotation of banner ads broke on six U.S. sites including ESPN SportsZone, Lycos, MTV Online and Happy Puppy, plus two Canadian sites, Canoe and sports network
“Our target is to attract or supplement the traditional media plan with [online buys that reach] younger users,” said Carole Johnson, vice president of business management for Gillette North Atlantic Group, Boston, which handles the marketing of shaving and toiletries products in North America and Europe.
The campaign is being handled by New York-based Think New Ideas and Carat Freeman, Newton, Mass. Johnson said the Gillette division has amassed a dedicated budget for online media, which includes site construction and Web media buys, that equals a “single digit percentage of the total media budget.”
The objective of the online campaign has been to educate prospective customers about the intricacies of the triple-bladed razor. As is the case with many packaged goods brands, the rotation of banners is designed to drive traffic to the site to get consumers to interact and learn more about the product.
The site, launched in April, marked Gillette North Atlantic’s first online media expenditure.
The site launch occurred 10 weeks before the razors were available in stores. Gillette opted for sites heavy in male users such as sports, gaming and community sites, Johnson said. The banner creative and media placement is still being tested, she added, as successive flights of online ads are being planned.
Its media plan for Europe hasn’t been finalized, but the company likely would opt to advertise on sites popular in select wired European countries.