Brain Food: Slogan Doctor Gillette: The Best a Man Can Get

Gillette started using this slogan in 1989. Developed by its agency BBDO, it has always been accompanied by a torrent of imagery showing man as sportsman, father and all-round winner. Although often associated with the Mach 3 range of 1998, it was first used with the Sensor sprung twin-blade model of '89. The first global razor, it cut a swathe through 16 countries, accompanied by this slogan. Its premise is straightforwardly macho: it's not for anybody, it's for 'a man'. It's also 'the best', an unprovable claim that has nonetheless been legally contested by Gillette's competitors. And the man targeted by the ads has to 'get' it, making him the active party in achieving shaving excellence. Despite all that testosterone swilling around, however, the slogan is verbally clever: 'Gillette' is a rhyme with 'get'; 'man', meanwhile, rhymes with 'can'. It contains only three vowel sounds, making it a catchy jingle even without that nagging. Gillette is not afraid of being butch. It is said that even the packaging is designed to break open with a 'masculine' sound and feel.

by John Morrish
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

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