Gillette woos bearded men with Guinness shaving feat

Participants during Gillette Kenya’s shaving event in an attempt to break a Guinness World Record on June 29. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG
Participants during Gillette Kenya’s shaving event in an attempt to break a Guinness World Record on June 29. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG 

Gillette Kenya last week engaged its consumers in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most people shaving at the same time in the same location.

The bid comes at a time when the shaving razors’ market has come under pressure from the rising popularity of beards, which has affected sales globally.

But the event by Gillette Kenya is designed to move shaving into trendier space again. “Gillette’s Kenya developed a campaign that would educate men on the correct ways of shaving and create awareness through its attempt to break the Guinness World Record,” said Evanson Mwaniki, Gillette brand manager.

The record-breaking may have succeeded. The shaving record is currently held by Gillette Mexico, where 2,374 people shaved together.

At Kenyatta University, where Gillette Kenya hosted its event, there were about 2,925 participants. It is still awaiting the official confirmation from the Guinness World Book of records that it has broken the record set by Gillette Mexico.

In trying to capture the record, the brand will anyway have made some marketing gains.

“When consumers take part in something that a brand invites them to, there is a high chance that they will continue engagement with them afterwards by purchasing it and such an event as Gillette’s, where consumer involvement is high, it can even form brand loyalties,” said Odanga Madung, data science lead at Odipo Dev, an analytics firm.

But Gillette aims are much wider.

“Gillette blades and razors are the market leader, however, the number of men who shave with blades is small.

Today, only 10 per cent of the men shave with blades and razors, another 10 per cent shave with clippers, and the rest opt for barbershops (80 per cent).

“The reason most men do not shave at home is either they do not know how to do it or are troubled that they will get bumps on their skin by shaving using razors,” says Mwaniki.

With this journey in mind, breaking a Guinness World Record title is a strategy that many brands have deployed globally to build an emotional connection with their target market.

Global brand equity database, BrandZ reports that 48 out of the top 100 global brands have used this marketing tactic in a bid to increase sales and acquire customers.

“It is simply human nature to desire to be a part of something and possibly to be the best in the world. Collaborating brands benefit from enhanced consumer engagement, positive media coverage, social sharing and spikes in web traffic.

“But what really matters is that Guinness impacts sponsor’s bottom lines; engaging customers in record-breaking efforts produce an uplift in sales,” said Samantha Fay, senior vice president, global brand strategy, Guinness World Records told online business magazine Brandingmag.

An example of one brand that used the strategy successfully is luxury British multinational car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover. In September 2015, at the unveiling of its first SUV, the F-Pace, in the market at the Niederrad Racecourse in Germany, it broke the world record for the largest single loop ever driven in a car.
It successfully completed a 19.08m tall, 360-degree circle to claim the record title for the largest loop the loop in a car ever, from Mattel that completed an 18.29m loop in 2012.

“The F-Pace is packed full of innovative technology and features the world’s most advanced in-car entertainment system, matched with super-fast Wi-Fi connectivity. It is a family car that is fast, fun and full of charisma, so completing the Guinness World Records title for the largest loop was the perfect reveal moment,” said Fiona Pargeter, global PR communications director, Jaguar Land Rover.

Following the achievement, the car firm garnered positive media coverage from over 750 outlets in 30 countries, a combined readership of over 75 million in print and online publications and over 750,000 views on YouTube.

It also became the fastest-selling vehicle in the company’s history, selling over 30,000 cars by August 2016, from when it was officially launched in the market, April that same year.

-Africa Laughter-