Hail The OnionPosted by on October 3, 2005 at October 3, 2005 2:00 PM
If you’re a man, you know that shaving your face with a razor is a potential trip to the emergency room (or the plastic surgeon). Every morning. So when Gillette announced in a news release that it was escalating the shaving wars by going to five blades, a little bell rang my head. I knew I’d read that news somewhere before.
Then I remembered: I read it in The Onion. Almost 18 months ago.
Since this is a family-friendly blog, we can’t share the actual headline from the satirical tabloid’s piece “penned” by James M. Kilts Gillette chairman, CEO and president. But it goes something like this:
*!@# Everything, We’re Doing Five Blades
Man, I love The Onion. Now let’s play a little game. Guess which Kilts quote is real, and which is from The Onion:
Quote 1: “It’s the future of shaving.”
Tricky, eh? Both lines ooze corporate-speak. Ah, but it’s the context that reveals the true Kilts, er, corporate communicators.
From The Onion:
Stop. I just had a stroke of genius. Are you ready? Open your mouth, baby birds, cause Mama’s about to drop you one sweet, fat nightcrawler. Here she comes: Put another aloe strip on that *!@#*!, too. That’s right. Five blades, two strips, and make the second one lather. You heard me – the second strip lathers. It’s a whole new way to think about shaving. Don’t question it. Don’t say a word. Just key the music, and call the chorus girls, because we’re on the edge – the razor’s edge – and I feel like dancing.
From the Gillette news release:
“Gillette Fusion is more than just a next generation shaving brand, it’s the future of shaving,” said James M. Kilts, Chairman, President and CEO, The Gillette Company. “Gillette Fusion extends our rich history of innovation. It’s a breakthrough platform that will continue to drive our category leadership.”
(cue yawn) The point of this comparison is to show that sometimes, in the never-ending quest to increase shareholder value, corporate communications loses its creative nerve. “Breakthrough?” “Next generation?” Where’s Harry Frankfurt when you need him?.
At least with words like @!#*!, you know where you stand.
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