Gillette Asks: "How Does the Man of Steel Shave?"

Saa Garibaldi and Megan Cook

Campaign details

Brand owner: Procter & Gamble
Agency: Ketchum
Brand: Gillette
Country: US

Executive summary

This case study shows how Gillette launched 'How Does He Shave?' a pop-culture debate in which celebrity 'super-geeks' engaged fans with their own Superman shaving theories, planted an associated brand superiority message, and gave Gillette new relevance across a coveted target demographic and beyond. From locking-in a licensing deal with Warner Bros to kicking off supersized Man of Steel conversations, the campaign delivered the most impactful digital ROI in the history of the brand and, most importantly, drove unprecedented sales from one particular major retailer.

In the trailers for the 2013 summer blockbuster movie, Man of Steel, Clark Kent is shown transforming from a straggly young man with unkempt facial hair, into the smooth-shaven Superman everyone knows and loves. But if a punch can't hurt him, bullets won't slow him and a tank is a mere annoyance, how exactly does Superman shave?