This is a story of how an orchestrated celebrity scandal sold 3 million razors in just 4 weeks, and resuscitated Gillette’s business in China.
The challenge was a decade of category erosion: 7/10 men in China could no longer justify the inconvenience of wet shaving (preparation, shave, wash, care), driving 18.3 million men to switch to more convenient dry shavers every year. For Gillette this represented US$647.2 million in lost earnings between 06’-12’, and no amount of innovation or promotion could stem the exodus: men had simply stopped listening.
Everything changed with ‘Scandal Shave’, a ground-breaking sequel to last year’s successful ‘Shave Sexy’ campaign. Inspired by the powerful insight that women in China find the act of men wet shaving extremely arousing to watch; an unbranded ‘private’ home video of national sweetheart Gao Yuanyuan scantily clad and intimately wet shaving with a man was ‘leaked’ to the media to compellingly deliver our message, generating a national scandal of enormous proportion. Capitalising on this with a full suite of branded activities, the campaign helped Gillette reach 237 million people, record its highest ever monthly sales, and stunt the growth of the dry shaver category for a second consecutive year.