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P&G's Gillette Adds Romance to China's Traditional Family Holiday

For the First Time in 50 Years, the Start of the Lunar New Year Coincides With Valentine's Day

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SHANGHAI ( -- Procter & Gamble Co. is combining China's most important festival, the lunar new year, with one of the West's more whimsical holidays, Valentine's Day, to promote the Gillette brand among young Chinese men.

Gillette developed the "Moments" campaign with BBDO Shanghai to take advantage of an unusual overlap in lunar timing that happens just once every fifty years when the beginning of the week-long Chinese New Year celebration coincides with Valentine's Day, marking two occasions when young men want to look good for girls and during traditional family visits.

The timing of Chinese New Year, starting Feb. 14, gives P&G a "unique opportunity" to engage young men on an emotional level about the importance of being well groomed, said Kevin Bogusz, a business director at BBDO Worldwide, Shanghai. The Omnicom Group agency handles creative for Gillette globally.

"We know it's a time when guys feel a lot of pressure to look their best for their family and friends. After all, they've been away from home for a long time and their image is often a signal to others of the success he's had while away," Mr. Bogusz said.

The campaign features a 60-second spot starring Olympic gold-medal badminton star Lin Dan, P&G's Gillette spokesperson in China. The love story demonstrates how a smooth, clean shave with the Gillette Mach3 razor helps guys achieve a confident look that can make their Chinese New Year moments special with girlfriends, friends and family.

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At the end of the film, the athlete proposes to his girlfriend on Valentine's Day, a holiday that has become popular among young Chinese.

The spot was originally created to only run online, on social networking and video sites such as,, and, along with print ads and in-store promotions, but P&G later decided to run it on TV as well. The spot is also on P&G's Chinese web site for Gillette, along with product news and information and bulletin boards that let consumers interact online.

The lunar new year is centered around family reunions
The lunar new year is centered around family reunions
P&G hopes the strategy will appeal to Gillette's target market in China -- students and other men in their early twenties in first- and second-tier cities. Those consumers are often job-hunting or have recently been hired.

They are also concerned about their appearance for more personal reasons. China's single-child policy has resulted in a gender imbalance, with Chinese men in their twenties outnumbering women. That means getting a girlfriend can be a challenge for many men.

"Gillette's core brand equity is about helping men look and feel their best," Mr. Bogusz said. This campaign "is more emotional than product focused though. It strikes a balance between giving a functional message and building the brand in a different way."

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