Monday, February 06, 2006

Fuck Everything, We're Doing Five Blades

Gillette CEO James Kilts, in the Onion, courtesy of a GS commenter:
Would someone tell me how this happened? We were the fucking vanguard of shaving in this country. The Gillette Mach3 was the razor to own. Then the other guy came out with a three-blade razor. Were we scared? Hell, no. Because we hit back with a little thing called the Mach3Turbo. That's three blades and an aloe strip. For moisture. But you know what happened next? Shut up, I'm telling you what happened—the bastards went to four blades. Now we're standing around with our cocks in our hands, selling three blades and a strip. Moisture or no, suddenly we're the chumps. Well, fuck it. We're going to five blades.

Sure, we could go to four blades next, like the competition. That seems like the logical thing to do. After all, three worked out pretty well, and four is the next number after three. So let's play it safe. Let's make a thicker aloe strip and call it the Mach3SuperTurbo. Why innovate when we can follow? Oh, I know why: Because we're a business, that's why! . . .

We didn't claw our way to the top of the razor game by clinging to the two-blade industry standard. We got here by taking chances. Well, five blades is the biggest chance of all.

Here's the report from Engineering. Someone put it in the bathroom: I want to wipe my ass with it. They don't tell me what to invent—I tell them. And I'm telling them to stick two more blades in there. I don't care how. Make the blades so thin they're invisible. Put some on the handle. I don't care if they have to cram the fifth blade in perpendicular to the other four, just do it!

4 comments:

arrScott said...

Thanks to a free sample, I can report that the new Gillette razor delivers one heck of a good shave. Comfortable and exceptionally close. Of course, the shave head is so massive that it gives you all the precision of a supertanker trying to do a U-turn into gale-force winds, so this thing is much better suited to guys who shave their whole heads than guys who actually want to maintain a line between hear and no hair. And the sixth "precision trimming" blade is a nice idea, but for safety's sake it's mounted so far back that it's darn near impossible to use it to trim anything, precision or no. It's like Gillette wants you to make folded-paper snowflakes using only an industrial sandblaster and kindergarten safety scissors.

Mad TV years ago had an ad for a fifteen-blade razor, where blades four and five scraped down to the bone, and blades six through fifteen just repeated the whole process twice over until the shaver's face was a grotesque mask of oozing marrow. I had my worries that the new Gillette razor would be like that, but it is not. Smooth, close shave, but a fist-sized shaving head that makes the thing all but unusable.

Michael said...

I picked one up before the game and gave it a try (I'm primarily an electric guy, but I've got a couple of flat hairs that I can't get any electric to cut). It definitely works like a charm, the 5 blades are so close together that no one blade puts any pressure on your face, so you get a close shave without nicking or chafing. It's the first blade that I thought shaved well without my having to shave against the grain.

The trimming blade on the back is definitely set in deep, but it still worked fine for trimming just under my sideburns and up against my nostrils.

It's definitely a keeper.

Also, I think that Onion article is several years old -- this is a case of life imitating art.

Tommy Etelamaki said...

Does anyone remember an SNL commercial parody from the '70s, when the first two-bladed razors came out? It was for a then-preposterous three-bladed razor. The tagline was, "Because you'll believe anything."

I'm not sure anyone has proved that two blades are better than one, let alone five.

louielouie said...

tommy,
you and i are the only two who DO remember that bit. every time i dicuss a new razor with anyone and bring up the SNL bit no one recalls the spoof.
jane curtain did the reporting.