SCHICK GETS SCENTS-ITIVE

There has been some rude talk that American corporations just don't have the right stuff anymore, having become lazy oligarchs that have lost their innovative edge. Well, for those carping critics, I have three words that'll shut you up: "scented razor handles."

There has been some rude talk that American corporations just don’t have the right stuff anymore, having become lazy oligarchs that have lost their innovative edge. Well, for those carping critics, I have three words that’ll shut you up: “scented razor handles.”

Schick, a subsidiary of the Energizer conglomerate, makes a men’s disposable razor called Xtreme3. It’s pretty zippy, but Schick’s razor-sharp executives and engineers have now gone way out to the cutting edge of razorology by imbedding a scent in the razor’s handle. Voila! This stunning new breakthrough for mankind is being marketed as “Xtreme3 Refresh.” How’s that for innovation?

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Okay, you carpers might point out that scent-on-a-stick is not really new, since Bic introduced the same thing for women’s razors way back in 2005. Yes, concedes a Schick brand manager, but it was generally assumed that men would think a scented handle “would be too girly.” So, to overcome the testosterone barrier, Schick has made a bold leap forward by producing a manly sniff that is a blend of spearmint, citrus, and rosemary. To ease any doubt about girlyness, the multimillion-dollar advertising campaign for Xtreme3 Refresh is being fronted by Nascar driver Martin Truex, Jr.

Schick says its scent is quite low-key – so subtle, in fact, that half of the marketing test group didn’t even notice it. Still, according to the razor-marketers “sensory branding” specialists, a surprising percentage of those men preferred the scented razor, apparently because the smell reached out and touched their olfactory organs subconsciously.

I don’t know about other men, but to give my olfactories a big enough jolt to stimulate my impulse to buy, Schick would do better if they used a more macho combo of scents – such as beer, barbeque, and bacon. Yeah, that’s the right stuff.

“Schick Uses Scent To Give Men’s Razor A Competitive Edge,” The New York Times, June 13, 2011.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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