• 4
  • 23 Mar ’11


Campaign Review: The Gillette ProGlide man needs to be stopped!

Now far be it from me to criticize the work of others, I’m certainly not the world’s greatest creative. But for this campaign I’m going to make an exception. In case you have not guessed this is a campaign review with a difference. Today we are celebrating the worst I’ve seen this week.

I’ve been holding my tongue on this campaign for weeks now. Nivea, my unfortunate wife, has had to deal with my constant moans of exasperation every time this advert appears on t.v. But now, now it’s time to unleash it upon you, my unsuspecting reader.

First take a look at this, take a good long look, make sure you watch the whole thing!

So what do we know? Well, we know that this guy likes to wait in a van outside a gym, or possibly many gyms, then rush into the changing room toilets with a camera crew to watch men shave. Oh, and also that he loves to yell “Woo” as he enters, for that extra touch of dramatic effect. I have yet to try shouting “Woo” when walking in on a half naked stranger with a blade in their hands but I would imagine the real world reaction would differ quite substantially to the warm greeting he receives here from these total actors strangers!

Do Gillette think we are idiots? Do they think we long for a smartly dressed cheeky bloke to crash in on us half naked and shaving?

Just two good buds having a shave together

To gaze, mesmerized, at our shaving predicament.

I can see your soul, it's beautiful!

I can see your soul, it’s beautiful

To stroke his chin in apoplexy at the unbearable pulling of the blades on the hair of our poor cheeks.

Wow, such clean pores!

Wow, such clean pores!

To jostle playfully with us in a tug of war over the razor.

"Take it, come on!!!!!"

"Take it, come on!!!!!"

Or has this campaign been intelligently designed to make us want to talk about it due to it’s awfulness? After all no publicity is bad publicity we are told. There must be some appeal here, there is an American and German version of it too. Check out the videos below. I particularly like how the American host raises the bar to new heights with his “Woo”, throwing in an off the cuff “What’s up” for those extra “Brah” points. The German just goes with a nice long drawn out “Hello”. What a friendly chap.

But wait, there’s more!! They also got Johnny Wilkinson and our beloved Brian O’Driscoll to crash in on some unsuspecting regular blokes in a toilet. Unsuspecting and regular in so much as they were already there for market research and had been told to go wash their hands. What an impromptu time and place to pull a stunt like this! I am shocked and amazed that a celebrity would suddenly appear in an homogenized, controlled environment like that. The spontaneity of it all is mind boggling. How does this video not have 20,000,000 hits!!! (It actually does have 47,000, the why and how of that is beyond me). There is no joy in this stunt, just corporate cynicism. It all falls as flat as Brian O’Driscoll’s line delivery. “Are…you…ready…for…the…pro…glide…challenge?”, “No I’m just a little freaked out by the way Johnny Wilkinson is caressing my shoulder like an over protective mother!”

Enjoy that little slice of originality and spontaneity? Mmmmmm, so wholesome!

I could write and write about this campaign for days but whats the point. Everyone who was involved in this should have known better. But the sad fact, is that by writing this post, I’m promoting this shite. So please, please, please, don’t encourage the Gillette ProGlide men by giving them more attention. They’re excited enough as it is.

In the interest of curiosity though, can anyone come up with some better captions for the still shots above. No-prize for the best effort!

Ian Sorensen

Ian Sorensen is a creative director who likes to write about himself in the third person. He has been making things look good for over 12 years and hopes to share his passion for good design / advertising / illustration with all those who visit this site. He also wishes you a good day!

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  • Anonymous

    Oh, great! Now I get to enjoy not only what I believe it’s the English version but the American and German as well. Woo!

  • Ian

    I know you secretly love these ads!

  • djamar2004

    Sometimes I have this feeling that they’re secretly plotting against our intelligence; us, the non-rich, uncool, 9to5ers, public transport commuters and akin. Their aim is to raise a new strain of human race, one which wouldn’t mind watching refurbished ideas and clichés, one totally devoid of aesthetic values. Seriously, mother nature should re-think her project. Rub it all off and start over. 
    And I, who’d oh so longed to see what life beyond the year 2000 would be like… what a disappointement. 

  • Anonymous

    Couldn’t have put it more succinctly myself. It’s a disgrace that in the day and age we live in this kind of advertising tactic is still prevelant. Even more so considering it’s so effective they rolled it out through different countries. At best annoying, at worst a damning testament to the gullibility of the masses. But ho hum, life goes on and we ponder a better world of advertising.