Gillette produced hundreds of thousands of limited-edition "lucky" boxer shorts honoring Brazil's leading soccer superstar, Neymar Jr., for Brazilian retailers to give away with the purchase of Gillette razors leading up to the 2018 World Cup. The star was set to wear the boxers in a friendly against Germany, but then he got injured. Fans challenged his "luck," and now our boxers were no longer the good luck symbol we'd intended. Gillette turned to public relations for an earned media strategy to save the promotion and make the boxers the talk of Brazil.
In the run-up to the 2018 World Cup, Gillette planned a national retail promotion to engage Brazilian fans still recovering from 2014's humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany on home turf. The promotion revolved around a pair of collectable boxer shorts (free with razor purchase), designed in superstar Neymar Jr.'s honor to be a good luck symbol, since injuries had prevented him from playing the final fateful 2014 match. Earned media needed to carry the promotion. With Brazil and Germany scheduled to play a friendly, their first meeting since 2014,it was the perfect time for Neymar to wear his "lucky" Gillette boxers and launch the promotion.