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Gillette is a brand
The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a "Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers."...

 of Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble is a Fortune 500 American multinational corporation headquartered in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio and manufactures a wide range of consumer goods....

 currently used for safety razor
Safety razor
A safety razor is a razor that protects the skin from all but the very edge of the blade. These razors reduce the possibility of serious injury, which makes them more forgiving than a straight razor.-Cartridges introduced:...

s, among other personal care
Personal care
Personal care or toiletries is the industry which manufactures consumer products used for beautification and in personal hygiene.-Subsectors:Subsectors of personal care include cosmetics and feminine hygiene....

 products. Based in Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, it was one of several brands originally owned by The Gillette Company, a leading global supplier of products under various brands, which was merged into P&G in 2005. The original Gillette Company was founded by King Camp Gillette in 1895 as a safety razor manufacturer.

On October 1, 2005, Procter & Gamble finalized its merger with The Gillette Company. As a result of this merger, the Gillette Company no longer exists. Its last day of market trading—symbol G on the New York Stock Exchange
New York Stock Exchange
The New York Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located at 11 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City, USA. It is by far the world's largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies at 13.39 trillion as of Dec 2010...

—was September 30, 2005. The merger created the world's largest personal care and household products company. In addition to Gillette, the company marketed under Braun
Braun (company)
' , formerly Braun AG, is a German consumer products company based in Kronberg, Germany.From 1984 until 2005, Braun was a wholly owned subsidiary of The Gillette Company, which had purchased a controlling interest in the company in 1967...

, Duracell
Duracell is a brand of batteries manufactured by Procter & Gamble.Additionally, Duracell owns the Procell professional-use brand.-Products:Duracell manufactures alkaline batteries in many common sizes, such as AAA, AA, C, D, and 9V...

 and Oral-B
Oral-B is a popular brand of oral hygiene products, including toothbrushes, toothpastes, mouthwashes and dental floss.It all started with a dentist, back in 1950, who created the first Oral-B toothbrush and its soft, end-rounded nylon bristles. Dr. Robert Hutson, a California periodontist, designed...

, among others, have also been maintained by P&G. The Gillette company slogan is "The Best a Man Can Get".

The Gillette Company's assets were initially incorporated into a P&G unit known internally as "Global Gillette". In July 2007, Global Gillette was dissolved and incorporated into Procter & Gamble's other two main divisions, Procter & Gamble Beauty and Procter & Gamble Household Care. Gillette's brands and products were divided between the two accordingly.


The Gillette brand is synonymous with shaving and personal care products. As such, trademark
A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or...

 protection becomes invaluable to distinguish a company's products and services from its competition to the public. King Gillette sought protection of his fledgling business for safety razors when he applied for the trademarks for razors and razor blades, soap, and shaving brushes on Wednesday, May 27, 1908. King C. Gillette filed trademark applications with the USPTO simultaneously in separate goods and services classes. King C. Gillette filed trademark applications under the early company name, Gillette Safety Razor Company, and while trademark applications were filed at the same time, each registration was granted on a different date. Registration for the Gillette trademark was assigned to razors and razor blades and was granted on October 13, 1908 with a serial number 71034984. Trademark for soap was awarded on September 29, 1908, with serial number 71034985, for shaving brushes on September 1, 1908 with 71034986. First use for this early Gillette trademark is declared as May 16, 1908. All 3 trademarks for the Gillette diamond are expired.

Older products

Double-edged safety razors

The first safety razor
Safety razor
A safety razor is a razor that protects the skin from all but the very edge of the blade. These razors reduce the possibility of serious injury, which makes them more forgiving than a straight razor.-Cartridges introduced:...

 using the new disposable blade, were introduced around 1902. Gillette maintained a limited range of models of this new type razor until 1934 and the introduction of the "Aristocrat". The great innovation of this new model was the "Twist to Open", or TTO design, which made blade changing much easier than it had been previously, wherein the razor head had to be detached from the handle.

1947 saw the introduction of the new "Super Speed" model, also a TTO design. This was updated in 1954, with different versions being produced to shave more closely—the degree of closeness being marked by the color of the handle tip.

In 1958, the first "adjustable" razor was produced. This allowed for an adjustment of the blade to increase the closeness of the shave. The model, in various versions, remained in production until 1986.

The Super Speed razor was again redesigned in 1966 and given a black resin coated metal handle. It remained in production until 1986. A companion model, "The Knack", with a longer plastic handle, was produced from 1966 to 1976.

Newer products

  • Techmatic was a single blade razor introduced in the mid-1960s. It featured a disposable cartridge with a razor band which was advanced by means of a lever. This exposed an unused portion the band and was the equivalent of five blades.
  • Adjustable Techmatic is a version of the Techmatic dating from 1970. The adjustable version featured user-selection of shave closeness on the cartridge. The adjustable version was interchangeable with the non-adjustable version. Both versions of the Techmatic and their cartridges have been discontinued.

  • Trac II was the world's first two-blade razor, debuting in 1971. Gillette claimed that the second blade cut the number of strokes required and reduced facial irritation.
  • Trac II Plus is an identical model but adds a lubricating strip at the top of the blade. The blades and handles are interchangeable.

The European versions of the Trac II and Trac II Plus are known as the GII and GII Plus respectively.
  • Atra (known as the Contour, "Slalom" in some markets) was introduced in 1977 and was the first razor to feature a pivoting head, which Gillette claimed made it easier for men to shave their necks.
  • Atra Plus featured a lubricating strip, dubbed Lubra-Soft.

  • Gillette Sensor debuted in 1990, and was the first razor to have spring-loaded blades. Gillette claimed that the blades receded into the cartridge head, when they make contact with skin, helping to prevent cuts and allowing for a closer shave.

The Sensor for Women was released around the same time and is nearly identical, but has a wider cartridge head.
  • Sensor Excel was released in 1995. This featured "Microfins," a piece of rubber with slits at the bottom of the cartridge and Gillette claimed this helped to raise facial hairs, making for a closer shave.
  • Sensor 3 has three blades instead of two. All Sensor handles can use all Sensor cartridges.

  • Good News! was the first disposable, double-blade razor, released in 1976.

The Good News! came in three forms: the "original", the "Good News! Plus", which included a lubricating strip, and the "Good News! Pivot Plus", which featured a lubricating strip as well as a pivoting head.

  • Blue II is a line of disposable razors. In Latin America
    Latin America
    Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

    , it is marketed as the Prestobarba.

  • Blue 3 is a line of three-blade razor, cheaper version of Sensor 3 (Sensor compatible). Available also in disposable variant.

  • Mach3
    Gillette Mach3
    The Gillette Mach3 is a line of safety razors produced by Gillette and introduced in 1998 after more than $750 million in research and development costs. The three blade design is marketed by Gillette as allowing for a shave with less pressure to the skin and with fewer strokes, thereby reducing...

    The first three-blade razor, introduced in 1998, which Gillette claims reduces irritation and requires fewer strokes.

The Mach3 featured five improved microfins and spring blades, a pivoting head with greater flexibility and a blue lubrication strip that faded with usage to encourage users to change their blades more frequently.

  • Mach3 disposable. The above with a different plastic handle.
  • Mach3 Turbo had ten microfins as opposed to the five on the original, a new grip and claims improved lubrication and "anti-friction" blades.

All Mach3 blades are interchangeable between the three products in the range, so it is possible to use the Mach3 Turbo blades on a Mach3 razor.

  • Mach3 Turbo Champion has a slightly different handle design.
    • M3Power is a battery-powered version of the Mach3 Turbo razor which can also be used with the power switched off. The blades differ from Mach3 Turbo with a new coating which Gillette describes as "PowerGlide".

The lubrication and microfins are identical to Mach3Turbo. The Mach 3 Power Nitro has a slightly different handle design.

  • Venus is a female version of the Mach 3. Mach 3 blades can attach to a Venus handle and vice versa.
  • Venus Divine is a female version of the Mach3 Turbo.
  • Venus Vibrance is a female version of the M3Power. Venus blades are interchangeable across the line.
  • Venus Embrace is a five-bladed razor with a ribbon of moisture surrounding the blades.
  • Venus Breeze is a three-blade razor with shave gel bars built into the head of the razor.

Another version of the Breeze, the Venus Spa Breeze, is essentially the same as the Breeze, but with a white tea scent to the shave gel bars.

  • Venus ProSkin MoistureRich, launched in January 2011 in the United States, is an updated version of the Breeze, featuring MoistureRich shave gel bars that are enhanced with a triple blend of body butters.

  • Gillette Fusion is a five-bladed razor released in 2006. The Fusion has five blades on the front, and a single sixth blade on the rear for precision trimming.
  • Gillette Fusion Power is a motorized version of the Fusion. The Fusion Power is battery powered and emits "micropulses" that are claimed to increase razor glide.
  • Fusion Power Phantom The Fusion Power Phantom (Stealth in UK) was released in February 2007 and features a redesigned handle with a darker color scheme than the original.
  • Fusion Power Phenom was released in February 2008. It has a new blue and silver color scheme.
  • Fusion ProGlide and Fusion ProGlide Power were launched on June 6, 2010 in North America.

The ProGlide series feature re-engineered blades with edges that are thinner than Fusion and are finished with low-resistance coating which allow the blades to glide more easily through hair.

  • Fusion Power Gamer (also known as "Cool White" in select markets)


The desire to release ever more expensive products, each claiming to be the best ever, has led Gillette to make disputed claims for its products. In 2005, an injunction
An injunction is an equitable remedy in the form of a court order that requires a party to do or refrain from doing certain acts. A party that fails to comply with an injunction faces criminal or civil penalties and may have to pay damages or accept sanctions...

 was brought by rival Wilkinson Sword
Wilkinson Sword
Wilkinson Sword is a brand name for companies that make gardening tools and razors. Wilkinson Sword's origins are in the manufacture of swords. The company was founded in London in 1772. The brand is currently owned by Energizer Holdings. Past product lines have included guns, bayonets, and other...

 which was granted by the Connecticut District Court
United States District Court for the District of Connecticut
The United States District Court for the District of Connecticut is the Federal district court whose jurisdiction is the state of Connecticut. The court has offices in Bridgeport, Hartford and New Haven. Appeals from the court are heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit...

 who determined that Gillette's claims were both "unsubstantiated and inaccurate" and that the product demonstrations in Gillette's advertising were "greatly exaggerated" and "literally false". While advertising in the United States now had to be rewritten, the court's ruling does not apply in other countries. Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble is a Fortune 500 American multinational corporation headquartered in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio and manufactures a wide range of consumer goods....

 (P&G) shaving products are currently under investigation by the Office of Fair Trading
Office of Fair Trading
The Office of Fair Trading is a not-for-profit and non-ministerial government department of the United Kingdom, established by the Fair Trading Act 1973, which enforces both consumer protection and competition law, acting as the UK's economic regulator...

 in an inquiry into alleged collusion between manufacturers and retailers in setting prices. According to the Daily Mail
Daily Mail
The Daily Mail is a British daily middle-market tabloid newspaper owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust. First published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe, it is the United Kingdom's second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun. Its sister paper The Mail on Sunday was launched in 1982...

in the UK, an industry insider has claimed that the Fusion range of blades cost only £0.05 each to manufacture, yet sell for up to £2.43, a mark-up price of more than 4,750%.

Net worth

In 1999, Gillette, as a company, was worth US$43 billion, and it was estimated that the brand value
Brand equity
Brand equity is the marketing effects and outcomes that accrue to a product with its brand name compared with those that would accrue if the same product did not have the brand name. Fact of the well-known brand name is that, the company can sometimes charge premium prices from the consumer . And,...

 of Gillette was worth US$16 billion. This equated to 37% of the companies value, which was the same as DaimlerChrysler
Daimler AG is a German car corporation. By unit sales, it is the thirteenth-largest car manufacturer and second-largest truck manufacturer in the world. In addition to automobiles, Daimler manufactures buses and provides financial services through its Daimler Financial Services arm...

, one of the worlds largest car manufacturers at the time.


Gillette has a long history of promotions for its products, especially towards young men. Current promotions include sponsorship of sports events such as Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 (since the 1940s, when it was the only sponsor for World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

 television broadcasts) and the England national rugby league team
England national rugby league team
The England national rugby league team represent England in international rugby league football tournaments. The team has now seen a revival, having largely formed from the Great Britain team, who also represented Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The team is run under the auspices of the Rugby Football...

, along with the Rugby League Four Nations
Rugby League Four Nations
The Rugby League Four Nations is an annual rugby league football tournament run in partnership between the Australian Rugby League, Rugby Football League and New Zealand Rugby League representing the top three nations in the sport: Australia, England and New Zealand. A fourth partner, France,...

. Gillette also ships a razor to males in the United States around the time of their 18th birthday; as of 2010 Gillette has been sending the Fusion ProGlide. Athletes such as Roger Federer
Roger Federer
Roger Federer is a Swiss professional tennis player who held the ATP no. 1 position for a record 237 consecutive weeks, and 285 weeks overall. As of 28 November 2011, he is ranked World No. 3 by the Association of Tennis Professionals . Federer has won a men's record 16 Grand Slam singles titles...

, Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods
Eldrick Tont "Tiger" Woods is an American professional golfer whose achievements to date rank him among the most successful golfers of all time. Formerly the World No...

, Shoaib Malik
Shoaib Malik
Shoaib Malik is a Pakistani cricket player and former captain. He made his One-Day International debut in 1999 against the West Indies and his Test debut in 2001 against Bangladesh. He has taken over 100 ODI wickets, and has a batting average in the mid 30s in both Test and ODI cricket...

, Derek Jeter
Derek Jeter
Derek Sanderson Jeter is an American baseball shortstop who has played 17 years in Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees. A twelve-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion, Jeter's clubhouse presence, on-field leadership, hitting ability, and baserunning have made him a central...

, Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry
Thierry Daniel Henry is a French professional footballer who plays for the New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer.Henry was born in Les Ulis, Essonne where he played for an array of local sides as a youngster and showed great promise as a goal-scorer. He was spotted by AS Monaco in 1990 and...

, Kenan Sofuoglu
Kenan Sofuoglu
Kenan Sofuoğlu is a Turkish professional motorcycle racer. He currently competes in Moto2 for the Technomag-CIP team, having made his debut at the end of and will remain with the team for the season...

, Park Ji-Sung
Park Ji-Sung
Park Ji-Sung is a South Korean footballer who plays as a midfielder for English club Manchester United. He was also the captain of the South Korean national team until his retirement from international football...

, Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid
Rahul Sharad Dravid , is a cricketer in the Indian national team, of which he has been a regular member since 1996. He was appointed as the captain of the Indian cricket team in October 2005 and resigned from the post in September 2007. Dravid was honoured as one of the top-five Wisden Cricketers...

, and Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke (cricketer)
Michael John Clarke is an Australian cricketer. He was appointed captain of the Test and ODI teams on 30 March 2011. Nicknamed 'Pup', he is a right-handed batsman, and occasional left-arm orthodox spin bowler...

 are sponsored by the company. There were calls to boycott Gillette products given their association with Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry
Thierry Daniel Henry is a French professional footballer who plays for the New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer.Henry was born in Les Ulis, Essonne where he played for an array of local sides as a youngster and showed great promise as a goal-scorer. He was spotted by AS Monaco in 1990 and...

, after a handball by Henry went undetected by referees and allowed France to knock Ireland out of a major football competition
France vs Republic of Ireland 2010 FIFA World Cup play-off
The France vs Republic of Ireland 2010 FIFA World Cup play-off, dubbed by the media as the Hand of Frog affair, was a controversial association football game played on 18 November 2009 in the Stade de France outside Paris between the national teams of France and the Republic of Ireland...

. Marketing experts have highlighted "the curse of Gillette", given the mishaps that happen to sports stars associated with the brand.

In popular culture

  • Saturday Night Live
    Saturday Night Live
    Saturday Night Live is a live American late-night television sketch comedy and variety show developed by Lorne Michaels and Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975, under the original title of NBC's Saturday Night.The show's sketches often parody contemporary American culture...

    featured a triple-blade razor in 1975, 23 years before the Mach3, with the slogan "The Triple-Trac. Because you'll believe anything." Not to be outdone, satirical newspaper The Onion
    The Onion
    The Onion is an American news satire organization. It is an entertainment newspaper and a website featuring satirical articles reporting on international, national, and local news, in addition to a non-satirical entertainment section known as The A.V. Club...

    printed a mock-commentary by Gillette's president after Wilkinson/Schick introduced their Quattro razor in 2004, three years before the Fusion was introduced, entitled Fuck Everything, We're Doing Five Blades.
  • Mad TV
    Mad TV
    Mad TV may refer to:*MADtv, an American sketch comedy television series based on Mad magazine*Mad TV , a 1991 German television station management simulation game*MAD TV , a Greek music channel-See also:...

    also featured a parody poking fun at Gillette's Mach 3 line of products. Mad TV called the product the "Spishak Mach 20."
  • Gillette continues to hold the naming rights to Gillette Stadium
    Gillette Stadium
    Gillette Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium located in Foxborough, Massachusetts, 21 miles southwest of downtown Boston and from downtown Providence, Rhode Island. It serves as the home stadium and administrative offices for the New England Patriots football team and the New England Revolution...

    , which is home to the NFL
    National Football League
    The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

     three-time champion New England Patriots
    New England Patriots
    The New England Patriots, commonly called the "Pats", are a professional football team based in the Greater Boston area, playing their home games in the town of Foxborough, Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium. The team is part of the East Division of the American Football Conference in the National...

     and the MLS
    Major League Soccer
    Major League Soccer is a professional soccer league based in the United States and sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation . The league is composed of 19 teams — 16 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada...

     New England Revolution
    New England Revolution
    The New England Revolution is an American professional association football club based in Foxborough, Massachusetts which competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada...

  • Eh Joe
    Eh Joe
    Eh Joe is a piece for television, written in English by Samuel Beckett, his first work for the medium. It was begun on the author’s fifty-ninth birthday, 13 April 1965, and completed by 1 May...

    , an avant-garde screenplay for television penned by the minimalist writer Samuel Beckett
    Samuel Beckett
    Samuel Barclay Beckett was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet. He wrote both in English and French. His work offers a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human nature, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humour.Beckett is widely regarded as among the most...

    , published in 1965, references Gillette razors several times in its script.
  • The James Bond
    James Bond
    James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been a six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis,...

    film Goldfinger
    Goldfinger (film)
    Goldfinger is the third spy film in the James Bond series and the third to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Released in 1964, it is based on the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. The film also stars Honor Blackman as Bond girl Pussy Galore and Gert Fröbe as the title...

    features a Gillette twist to open (TTO) razor which contains a homing device used by Bond while on board the title character's private jet.
  • The UK comedian Andy Parsons made jokes as part of his participation in Mock The Week parodying the brand's adverts, saying "Our closest shave yet. In fact, it's too close. It acts like a bacon slicer. Go back to using the previous one."

Canadian Headquarters

Until the late 1980s, Gillette Canada's headquarters were in the Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 suburb of Mont-Royal, Quebec until they moved west to another Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 suburb in Kirkland
Kirkland, Quebec
Kirkland is a town on the Island of Montreal in southwestern Quebec, Canada. As of 2006, the population was 20,491. It is named after Charles-Aimé Kirkland, a Quebec provincial politician....

. The Kirkland offices were closed in 1996 and Gillette Canada moved to Mississauga, Ontario
Mississauga, Ontario
Mississauga is a city in Southern Ontario located in the Regional Municipality of Peel, and in the western part of the Greater Toronto Area. With an estimated population of 734,000, it is Canada's sixth-most populous municipality, and has almost doubled in population in each of the last two decades...

, a Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

 suburb following the Gillette acquisition of Duracell
Duracell is a brand of batteries manufactured by Procter & Gamble.Additionally, Duracell owns the Procell professional-use brand.-Products:Duracell manufactures alkaline batteries in many common sizes, such as AAA, AA, C, D, and 9V...

. The Mississauga offices were closed in 2005-06 after Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble is a Fortune 500 American multinational corporation headquartered in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio and manufactures a wide range of consumer goods....

acquired Gillette, and Gillette's Canadian headquarters are located in downtown Toronto with parent Procter & Gamble on Yonge St.

Further reading

  • "King C. Gillette, The Man and His Wonderful Shaving Device" by Russell Adams (1978), published by Little Brown & Co. of Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.

External links