"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 12 March 1999. Updated every WEEKDAY.

"With Mach3, we will drive millions of male disposable users into the refillable systems segment": Such was the blistering rhetoric issued from no less a syntactical prodigy than John Darman, Gillette's vice president of business management, male shaving division. But as wild - no, as downright irresponsible - as his silver-tongued demagoguery may have seemed at the time, Darman's prediction has, almost a year later, come to pass.

Mach3 was a Defense Department-like triumph of technology deployment. Gillette famously spent more than a billion simoleons on the thing, first overdesigning it (tough new steel alloys for its blades, slippery new polymers for its lube, comfy new ergonomics for its handle) and then overselling it with a supremely slick, peace-dividend parable of a TV ad, beamed incessantly at every viewer of professional sports in the land. A supersonic jet fighter rockets through a blue sky. It reaches critical velocity, causing it to fluidly, senselessly morph into a matte-silvery razor. Then, in a flash, the flying shaving stick lands in the manicured hand of a buck-naked man standing in a gleaming high-tech bathroom. A wet-shaving dream; a huge hit.

But as Mach3's birthday nears, just being a three-blade facial depilatory system is not enough. The time has come for Mach3 to reinvent itself - er, to strategically leverage its aggregated brand equity. Which is why we expect these new, cutting-edge products to show up soon on the shelves of your local Circle K.

Next ... No more distended cuticles!

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