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First Shave

First Shave | Procter & Gamble (P&G) | Grey
Download Download JPG | 2874x1622px
Industry: Retail & Distribution
Media:TV & Cinema
Style: Minimalism

Gen Z and younger Millennials represent the future of grooming consumers and the biggest long-term business opportunity for Gillette. Yet according to brand equity data, Gillette was losing relevance in their lives. We were not penetrating younger audiences, while newer shaving brands were investing heavily to appeal to Millennials and Gen Z. They were inserting themselves into the cultural zeitgeist on topics of masculinity while Gillette, as the category leader, remained fixated on product features. With over 2/3 of Millennials and Gen Z expressing a preference for brands that had a point of view on an issue and stood for something, and 72% willing to pay extra for products and services from companies dedicated to social change, it became clear Gillette needed to stand for something more meaningful.

Describe the cultural/social/political climate in your region and the significance of your campaign within this context

Media portrayals of men have come a long way in the last decade, but they still focus heavily on cisgender stereotypes. Men who don’t conform to traditional definitions of manhood rarely see themselves in advertising and, if they do, it tends to focus on gay men. Transgender men, those who fight the hardest to become men, are pushed to the sidelines. While the transgender community has made great strides in recent years to earn recognition and respect, it remains largely sidelined. Representation in popular culture and entertainment is rare, and positive representation even more so. As a leading male grooming brand, we saw an opportunity to give new meaning to the iconic tagline “The Best A Man Can Get”.

Describe the creative idea

A man’s first shave is a rite of passage. For over a century, Gillette has been a part of that moment. But now it's time we celebrated every man, no matter when the moment arrives. In the launch film, we follow the stories of four transgender men as they take an important first step. Individual films dig deeper into their stories and a How-To video featuring one of the men gives transgender men taking this important step an opportunity to learn from someone with similar experiences.

Describe the strategy

In January Gillette’s ‘We Believe’ launched creating a global dialogue about men’s behaviour and what it meant to be a man. As that debate raged we needed to prove that the conversations we had started weren’t hollow, that the challenge we’d put forth to men around the world would also be taken up by us. ‘First Shave’ was the proof. By engaging an underrepresented male demographic and empowering them to tell their stories and share their beliefs of what it means to be a man, we broadened the conversation and provided the empirical proof that ‘The Best A Man Can Get’ is a promise that reaches far beyond a simple tagline.

Describe the execution

We went to the homes of transgender men to film them shave for the first time. We sat with their families, listened to their stories and created a powerful set of films that celebrated their first shaves. The films were then offered to LGBTQ film festivals providing them with an opportunity to feature content that celebrates a segment of the population that is far too often ignored. A microsite housed a content series that included the individual stories of each man and a how-to shaving video starring one of our heroes.

Describe the results/impact

As part of the larger ‘We Believe’ campaign, we built on the conversations about masculinity and the future of men that had become the #1 trending topic on Twitter and generated over 15 billion media impressions. Gillette became the 3rd most Googled search term in the US and catapulted from a brand no one was paying attention to, to the #7 most meaningful brands of 2019. To continue the conversation, Gillette donated to The 519 an organization committed to supporting happy, fulfilling LGBTQ lives.
Production Company:
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Silver Social & Influencer
Social Behaviour & Cultural Insight
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Bronze Glass: The Lion for Change
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Entertainment
Talent: Digital & Social
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Social & Influencer
Audience Tagerting / Engagement Strategies
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