Schick needs to shake up the category routine, as it faces a growing threat from Unilever’s Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s, both value brands, to knock it from its No. 2 spot. All three remain far behind Procter & Gamble Co.’s Gillette in men’s razors and blades.
Schick slipped to 13.1% share of all U.S. men’s razors and blades spending, including disposables, in the 52 weeks ended Jan. 30, according to Numerator data capturing online and offline sales from its panel. That's down from 13.5% the year before and 15% the prior year.
Gillette has given up more than five share points the past year, slipping to 49.4%, as Unilever’s Dollar Shave Club, which has been moving into offline retailers the past year after long-existing only online, more than doubled its dollar share the past year to 10.6%.
Gillette has a history of advertising on themes of elevating men through superior blades. That ranges from its decades-ago “Best a Man Can Get” campaign to a 2019 take on bullying, sexism and other aspects of toxic masculinity. Its recent Super Bowl ad showed a man magically made over in part with his exfoliating razor. Dollar Shave Club’s latest in-house ad shows a man whose shave is so clean it provokes a group of otherwise menacing Mafioso to begin rubbing his face.
The inaugural ad of Schick’s campaign by contrast shows a handful of guys talking, apparently unscripted, about why they shave, don’t shave so often, or how they grew up thinking about shaving.
The agency behind it, Partners & Spade, could hang on for the long term, Bell said, as he expects the new campaign to last. But he noted the brand has a history of working with different shops.
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“We were really looking for a fresh approach to the category,” he said. “We were not seeing anybody talking to guys as authentically as we wanted to. And so we reached out to them to have a new voice in the category.”
The campaign dovetails with a packaging redesign that includes a simpler sans serif font and white background that stands out from the darker trade dress of competitors.
Interpublic Group of Cos.’ MullenLowe previously handled Schick, but the brand hadn’t had much media support in the past year, getting only $1.6 million in TV spending since last March, according to iSpot.tv data.