If you can’t beat em, join em: Gillette’s decision to back the long-running Movember campaign

Gillette is a sibling to Mr Clean under the Procter & Gamble parent company. In support for Movember, the usually bald mascot for cleaning products is growing a virtual moustache. [Credit: Advertising Age, Procter & Gamble Co.]

Movember was a concept developed in Australia in 2003 as a way to promote awareness for prostate cancer. The main idea of the program is to have men grow their mustaches out during the month of November. Needless to say, a company that draws profits from their customers being clean cut and well-shaven would be upset to hear that the idea was quickly growing into a large scale movement. Gillette, after 9 years of staying out of the way of the event, has decided to show support of it for the promotion of men’s health awareness. Did I say for the sole purpose? That would not be the case because the timing of Gillette’s support was well met with the release of the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler which was developed with the purpose of trimming and edging facial hair. The market had been noticing trends that note an increase of men wearing a moderate amount of stubble for part of the year, and it would make sense for Gillette to evolve with the growing popularity of facial hair and create products that can help maintain and possibly attract new customers.

Gillette has never, in the 150+ years of the company, had actors with facial hair in their advertisements. They always had a actor or model that was clean shaven. So now they are taking a [relatively] radical change in the way they do business, and have to embrace alternative ways of maintaining facial hair.

The marketing director for Wahl Clipper Co. delivered a bit of insight on the ‘”traditional” facial hair looks and the transition into current trends. Incidentally, Wahl had been backing the Movember campaign since 2009 in the United States, and since 2008 in the United Kingdom and Canada. Facial hair was not allowed during World War I so that the standard issue gas masks would fit all soldiers. After the troops returned from overseas, Col. James Schick (of the current Schick brand) began using ads that connected being clean-shaven to being a patriotic citizen. Now, facial hair is viewed as a form of expression and is beginning to grow in momentum. 

Andre “3000” Benjamin went on a free, three-city (NYC, Houston, Chicago; November) eMo’gency Styler Tour with Procter & Gamble Co. as a feature riding off of the “Masters of Style” ProGlide Styler campaign. Gael Garcia Bernal and Adrian Brody are the co-stars of that campaign, and are seen in the above commercial. In addition to the tour, Gillette is hosting a comment for charity event. The event is hosted on Gillette’s Facebook page and encourages fans to post comments with images to track their Movember journey. For every post they receive, Gillette will donate one dollar (up to fifty thousand total) to support men’s health and prostate cancer awareness. For anybody that could not donate themselves or wants to show off their interesting mustache, the link to post your comment (Facebook account required): https://www.facebook.com/gillette.