Fashion & Beauty
Gillette deodorant is among the top brands in Israel, except for in the Orthodox sector. Due to their religious lifestyle, the brand doesn’t carry any equity as Orthodox Jews don’t shave and don’t consume mass media. We needed to justify the price premium for the Orthodox community to buy us.
ORTHODOX JEWS NEED A DEODORANT THAT LASTS THROUGH THE SABBATH
Life in Israel’s religious Orthodox community is hard. Despite blistering temperatures that average over 40℃and unbearable humidity in the summer, Orthodox Jews are required to wear heavy black suits and hats every day. This makes them more likely to sweat… profusely.
This is a particularly big problem on the Sabbath – Judaism’s holiest day that runs from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. Orthodox Jews are forbidden from doing anything that’s considered work – from cooking to bathing, even putting on deodorant! That makes Sabbath prayers in packed synagogues a very smelly affair.
What they needed was a powerful deodorant that protects them from the start to the end of the Sabbath; what they needed was Gillette's advanced 48-hour protection formula.
The problem was Gillette wasn’t even considered by the Orthodox community, which makes up 30% of Israel’s population.
As a brand associated with shaving, Orthodox Jewish men are not familiar with Gillette, and religious restrictions mean they’re not exposed to brands in media. So they’re not willing to pay a premium price for utility goods. They favour cheaper, less effective brands.
We needed more than a media strategy to get them to change to a higher priced deodorant.
Our insight lay in the unlikeliest of places: the Bible. Malodour is more than a smelly nuisance: God warns his followers that praying in an area of odour makes your prayer ineffective! Odour distracts your mind and interferes with your intentions.
WE NEEDED TO CONFRONT THE ORTHODOX COMMUNITY AS THEY PREPARED FOR SABBATH
Now that we had God’s blessing we could tell the Orthodox community how to make prayer time less sweaty and more effective.
Our strategy was to own the strict Sabbath preparations observed by more than 3 million Jews – something never done by a brand.
Making sure one is fully prepared for Shabbat is critical; due to the strict religious regulations if something is forgotten there is no way to fix it once the Shabbat settles in.
By getting Gillette’s deodorant in the community’s hands before the start of the Sabbath service, we could show them that our advanced 48-hour protection would make their prayers more effective.
But this required divine intervention.
So in a world first, we recruited Israel’s rabbinical authority – the most influential leaders of Judaism across the country – to get their consent to raise awareness of the forgotten Biblical decree that malodour can affect the effectiveness of prayer.
Their approval meant we would use Rabbis in the run-up to the Sabbath to land our (unbranded) message that worshippers could pray more effectively if they use a more powerful deodorant.
Once the community leaders had advocated stronger deodorant, we would use media channels like no one has done before to target the community and physically get Gillette into their hands.
This included experiential stations outside of their place of worship where they could test Gillette, branding official Sabbath preparation checklists in the only newspapers read by the target audience, and even taking over the siren that sounds just before Sabbath comes in.
Our media firsts would make Gillette part of the preparations for the holiest day of the week.
WE DEMONSTRATED THE POWER OF GILLETTE
Phase one saw us recruit the rabbinical authority giving us unprecedented permission to use bulletin boards in synagogues nationwide.
We raised awareness of malodour affecting the quality of praying, using the original Biblical quote and the rabbinical recommendation.
With malodour now a hot topic, we launched phase two of our strategy – an experiential side-by-side battle of synagogues!
One congregation was given Gillette deodorants, the other served as a control group. We then placed cutting-edge Japanese odometers inside both synagogues to measure the strength and intensity of the odour.
The Gillette congregation, unsurprisingly, came out on top in every reading (with just a quarter of the odour intensity!) and with word-of-mouth spreading throughout the community, we launched phase three.
We used unique touchpoints to raise awareness of Gillette’s role in effective prayer and encouraged every Orthodox man to apply Gillette before the start of the holy day.
We ran print ads in the community’s most-read publications, we secured the last radio commercial just minutes before the Sabbath began and we sponsored the Shabbat candle lighting schedules that appear on the front page of every Orthodox newspaper.
We even inserted a free fridge magnet listing the required tasks that needed completing before the Sabbath, including applying Gillette, into the weekend papers.
For the first time ever, we took over the street sirens that sound every week to mark the start of Sabbath. Instead of the usual call to prayer, people heard the iconic Gillette music.
Lead Media Agency
MediaCom Connections Israel
Additional Media Agencies
Stern Ariely Sahar Communication (PR agency)