Gillette is one of the most popular global brands. With a history spanning over a century, it is one of the oldest brands in the world that has maintained its hold over the people despite having gone through major business upheavals.
The brand is a leader in the men's safety razor and personal care segment that is owned by Proctor & Gamble at present. Everyone knows the name Gillette and what it stands for but the company has gone through many milestones in its long journey. It has created controversies and innovations and many more phenomena along the way and so, here is taking a look at those 20 amazing things that you did not about the safety razor pioneer Gillette.
1. Gillette is the genericized trademark for blades in many languages - Gillette has become synonymous with blades in languages like Estonian, Czech, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Macedonian and Latvian.
2. Gillette inspired underarm shaving in women - In 1915, Gillette came up with an advertisement in Harper's Bazaar that said that underarm hair in women was unhygienic and unfashionable. This initiated the trend of underarm shaving leading to a burgeoning market of personal shaving products.
3. Gillette sends free razors to men around their eighteenth birthday - In the US, Gillette sends free razors to young men around their eighteenth birthday as part of its marketing strategy.
4. Gillette has sponsored many sportspeople from different fields - Gillette has sponsored cricketers like Michael Clarke, Rahul Dravid tennis player Roger Federer, golfer Tiger Woods, baseball player Derek Jeter and many more.
5. Gillette came up with an app in 2017 dedicated to dads - On the occasion of Father's Day, Gillette came up with an app that was similar to Siri, the personal assistant app, which answers all the queries of the user. This was done after a research found that only 13% guys go to their father for advice.
6. The razor and blades model did not originate at Gillette - The popular razor and blades business model that involves sale of an item at a low price to increase the sale of its complementary goods is widely believed to have been started by King C Gillette. However, in reality, it was his competitors who came up with the idea. He only followed them.
7. King Camp Gillette founded the company in 1901 - King Camp Gillette came up with the American Safety Razor Company in 1901 as a manufacturer of safety razors. The name was changed to Gillette a year later in 1902.
8. Gillette sold 51 razors and 168 blades after first production - Gillette began production in 1903 after obtaining trademark registration. In its first attempt, the company could sell only 51 razors and 168 blades but in the next year it increased to 90,884 razors and 123,648 blades.
9. A discarded cork seal gave Gillette the idea of disposable blades - King C Gillette used to work at the Crown Cork and Seal Company as a salesman and it was here that he chanced upon the idea of disposable blades. It struck him after seeing discarded bottle caps with broken cork seals that he used to sell.
10. King C Gillette became famous due to his picture on blade packets - The portrait of King C Gillette on the packet of the blades made him quite popular. In fact, people would get surprised to know that he was a real person and not a marketing image.
11. Gillette blades became synonymous with his portrait - In non-English speaking countries people asked for Gillette blades by referencing to his portrait. They would demand blades with the man's face.
12. Proctor & Gamble acquired Gillette in 2005 - The American consumer good company P&G acquired Gillette in 2005 but it continued to use the brand name Gillette for safety razors and personal care products.
13. Gillette Stadium was originally known as CMGI field - The Gillette Stadium was named so after Gillette bought the naming rights from CMGI after the dot com bust. Though Proctor & Gamble acquired the company in 2005, it continued to use the Gillette brand name for the stadium.
14. James Bond movie "Goldfinger" featured Gillette razor - The 1964 James Bond film starring Sean Connery featured Gillette Slim 195 Adjustable twist to open (TTO) razor. The razor carried the homing device that the spy used on Goldfinger's private jet.
15. Screenplay "Eh Joe" made many references to Gillette razors- Writer Samuel Beckett's screenplay for television "Eh Joe" that he wrote in 1965 carried many references to Gillette razors.
16. A case was filed against Gillette in Brazil for encouraging bias against hairy men - In 2013, some consumers filed a case against Gillette in Brazil for coming up with a commercial that showed women asking men to go hairless as it would make them like the men. It was alleged that the commercial hurt the sentiments of hairy men.
17. A Connecticut court issued an injunction against Gillette in 2005 - The Connecticut District Court brought an injunction against Gillette after Wilkinson Sword challenged the company's claims made in its commercials. Gillette was found guilty of exaggeration and it led to rewriting of the ad in the US.
18. Gillette was fined in France in 2016 - The Autorité de la concurrence in France imposed a fine on Gillette in 2016 for price-fixing on personal hygiene products.
19. Gillette faced boycott in 2010 for association with Thierry Henry - Thierry Henry was one of the brand ambassadors of Gillette in 2010, the same year that saw the handball controversy at the FIFA World Cup qualifier match. The controversy led to the boycott of Gillette but the company supported Henry.
20. Marketing experts coined the term "Curse of Gillette" - The incidences of controversies happening with the sportspersons associated with Gillette led to the coinage of the term "Curse of Gillette." It was launched by marketing experts to highlight the development.
So, you can see for yourself how enthralling the journey of Gillette has been in all these years. No doubt, it is one of the most well-known brands across the world that not only became a trendsetter for businesses but also weathered many storms and has retained its glorious name despite a takeover.