A Schicky Situation

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[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAk77Kr_OwQ&hl=en&fs=1]

I woke up on a lazy Sunday morning and turned on the TV to one of my guilty pleasures, the Style Network. During the first commercial break I got up to get some water. When I returned, my friend had the TV paused and her jaw had dropped to the floor. “You have got to see this commercial,” she said.

The commercial she was referring to was the new Schick Quattro for Women TrimStyle. I watched in awe as the commercial played. Throughout the commercial, women walk past various bushes. As the women pass a bush, it transforms from a larger plant to a chiseled work of art. Each final product was different, indicating the different shaving preferences women have. I was shocked and slightly sickened by the comparison.

I immediately began to consider what Schick was thinking by allowing this ad to run on national television when my friend said, “That’s terrible. I’m going to buy one, but that’s terrible.” Her honesty really made me think. Sure, this commercial can come off extremely offensive to some. But how far are PR professionals willing to allow advertisers go to set themselves and their products apart from the competition?

When I think of women’s razor commercials, the first one that pops into my head is the catchy tune on Gillette’s Venus. These commercials depict women with silky legs relaxing around a pool. There are usually feminine colors flying around and it is obviously catered to a female audience.

The new Schick Quattro TrimStyle has set itself apart by not only focusing on the legs of a woman, but it also has a double-sided design for use on the legs and the bikini line.When Schick was approached with the time to set the image for this product, it did not go with a happy, feminine and colorful approach. It pushed the boundaries and went for something a little more shocking.

This was especially true for its PR launch of the new TrimStyle design. On December 8, 2008, Schick invited over 40 beauty and style editors to “free their spirits and intuitions” for an evening at the Luxe Laboratory. The evening featured guest host Barbara Biziou and her stress relieving tips and concluded with burlesque performer Veronica Varlow demonstrating the art of self confidence and teaching “seductive tricks of the trade.”

Schick is obviously focusing on the sex appeal of the woman. It wants to make a woman feel her sexiest because of its product. But what about this commercial actually provides sex appeal? It definitely promotes a negative connotation associated with the bikini area of a woman. I don’t agree with using such a nickname to sell a product. The women in this commercial appear to be beautiful, confident women. It is possible that Schick wants us to believe its product has increased their confidence.

The public relations professionals at Schick, if consulted, took a risk with this commercial. I have spoken with numerous people who believe that the shock factor behind the commercial is a good thing. It is memorable and much different from other razor commercials. The reasons that it stands out could also be reasons for which this commercial is viewed negatively. I know I am not the only woman slightly offended by this commercial. With that said, I am very interested to know how this commercial affects the sales and image of Schick.

I must admit that although the commercial struck me in an odd way, I plan on purchasing a TrimStyle. Hopefully bushes won’t change shape as I walk by.

-Dianna Duffy

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