Gillette Advertising Case Study: Best Tactics to Brand a Product Line

Companies with large and varied product lines face a particularly tough marketing focus challenge. With so many different products, how can they unify their brand message and convey a single clear point.

In this three-minute emotional marketing lesson video, Graeme Newell tells the marketing case study of Gillette, and shows how they used emotional marketing to unify their entire advertising message.  See how a great product brands use marketing focus to get rid of the advertising chatter and create a transcendent brand identity.

Transcription text of the 3-Minute Emotional Marketing Lesson Video “Gillette Advertising Case Study: Best Tactics to Brand a Product Line” by Graeme Newell, emotional marketing researcher, emotional marketing speaker, customer loyalty researcher, and consultant at 602 Communications.


Hi I’m Graeme Newell. Today, how to build versatile brands that accomplish many different marketing tasks but are still easy to understand.

Gillette sells everything from razors, to body wash…

“Prepare to defeat dry skin with Gillette dry skin hydrator and body wash”

to deodorant.

The best way for Gillette to increase razor sales isn’t to recruit new customers, but to get existing customers to use more blades.  So they have a ‘change your blade’ campaign.

“So what’s the problem? It’s your blades pal. Aw man, should have known. Aw, even the best blades get worn down. When that happens, it’s not as comfortable, see. When the strip turns white, you should think about changing it for a smoother ride. Gillette fusion: fresh blade, more comfortable shave.”

Another way to increase blade sales? Convince men to shave other parts.  But Gillette’s gotta teach men how to do this.

“More and more guys are shaving their armpits. Before you shave yours, you need to trim the hair under your arms and lather with body wash to soften the hair.”

They also market chest shaving, and shaving more sensitive areas.

“Taking care of the hair down there certainly has its benefits. You might say when there’s no underbrush, the tree looks taller.”

So with all these products, all this teaching, and all these different messages, how does Gillette unify its brand message? Well Gillette didn’t build their brand from the product lines down.  It’s not about washing, shaving, or deodorizing. They built their brand from customer dreams up.

“You know the feeling, every guy’s had it. You’re unbeatable, unstoppable. You got that walking-on-water feeling. You look, they smile. You win, they go home. It’s the feeling you get every day with the world’s best shave. M3 power. Every move is smooth, every word is cool. I never want to lose that feeling.”

And Gillette wants men to experience that feeling every time they touch their products.  So he doesn’t shave in the morning, he’s preparing for success. He’s not grooming, he’s preparing to be as cool as Adrien Brody. He’ll rise to the challenge each day…

“We all have confidence. We all have doubt. But when the moment comes, what’s gonna win? Here’s to confidence. (Singing)”

By creating ads that showcase bold, sexy, confident men, Gillette creates a Pavlovian response that gets repeated each morning.  Simple grooming is transformed into the feeling of achieving. Great marketing isn’t just about branding a product, it’s about capturing a customer passion. Great brands tap a deep emotion that gets triggered every time the customer uses the product or hears the product name. I’m Graeme Newell and that’s emotional marketing.


The Gillette advertising machine is a complex and multi-headed beast. The offer product brands ranging from razors to body wash, and everything in between. With that many different product brands, one might think it would be near impossible to keep marketing focus on how to brand a product properly – but Gillette has done it, and done it very well. Today, a marketing case study on the Gillette advertising strategy, and how they manage to keep marketing focus steady with a wide range of product brands.

Gillette Advertising

There’s no doubt about Gillette’s advertising credentials, they brand a product very well, and have been doing so for a long time. At this current phase of their product brands, Gillette’s best bet is not to recruit new buyers for their razors, but rather to set their marketing focus on getting current users to buy more blades. They brand a product by actually informing their users about why it’s a better idea to throw out their old blades faster and buy new ones, not throwing some fancy advertising pitch at them.

Another way to expand usage of their product brands is to get men to shave other parts of their bodies. This requires a marketing focus on teaching men how to do it. So in the end, with all of this teaching, how does Gillette advertising brand a product effectively? They do it by setting their marketing focus on the emotion that drives their customers, not the product itself.

Brand a Product with a Passion

Gillette advertising stays focused by not bothering with the actual physical properties of their product brands, but rather what they stand for. Gillette stands for confidence. When men shave in the morning with a Gillette razor, they’re not just grooming – they’re preparing for success. If you’re looking to brand a product across different groups, this is the best marketing focus to take.

How Gillette Advertising can Brand a Product for All Men

For this marketing case study we watched hours upon hours of how Gillette advertising brands a product, and we’ve come upon the secret. When they go about branding a product, they do so by showing sexy and powerful men engaging in the ritual of shaving. This invokes a powerful response – it builds an association between the power and sex-appeal of the men in the ad with the ritual of shaving. To brand a product this way is to create ascendant product brands – product brands that rise above their base function and fulfill something deeper. The greatest conclusion we reached in this marketing case study was that to brand a product upon a transcendent feeling or emotion was to create a truly powerful product brand.

So to recap, in this marketing case study we found that:

  • Gillette advertising is a massive undertaking. They have varied product brands throughout their central function of grooming that includes razors, shaving cream, deodorant, body wash, and more.
  • To brand a product in such a varied product grouping, Gillette advertising sets its marketing focus not on the product features, but the driving emotions that power its product brands.
  •  Gillette advertising takes the ritual of grooming and turns it into unbridled success’ opening act.

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