Close Shaves

October 16, 2007

We're into week two in Athens, and I'm about a half hour from being out of both bananas and Triscuits, at which point a miniature Russian revolution begins right here in our condo.

This must be how President Bush must have felt in 2002 when Iraq just wouldn't cough up those WMDs that he was sure they had stockpiled.

(later) -- Disaster averted. As Ivan chewed the last bits of cracker, I threw in a pacifier and blanket, and he took the suggestion and went to sleep.

For months, I've been bothered by that Gillette commercial with Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, and some random from the world of soccer.

Here's my problem: Tennis and golf are undoubtedly the most popular individual sports in America and in the world. They signed up arguably the most dominant players in the history of each sport, who are coincidentally at their athletic prime at the same point in history. It's an advertiser's murderer's row! The team sport equivalent would be something like Babe Ruth shaving with Michael Jordan.

But then they go in and throw the soccer guy in the mix. I won't be bothered to look up his name, but I never heard of the guy outside of the commercial, and I'm one of the few Americans who at least watch some World Cup highlights every four years.

What bugs me most is the three of them doing some fake clowning around at the end. As if the three of them would have shaved, gotten together in their cleanest duds, and then walked shoulder-to-shoulder, Reservoir Dogs style, but clowning with each other.

That's about as plausible as Tiger Woods driving an Oldsmobile as his every day ride. (Or is it Cadillac that he endorses? Whichever.)

Speaking of Gillette, I might or might not have mentioned that when Gameday came for the Virginia Tech game, they had a tent set up with a pretty little Mexican girl, who would sit you down and give you a shave. Next to that was a camera where you got a minute to act goofy, and they were supposed to email you the video.

When my shave was over, a lady was just starting to record her own video. I took off my shirt, threw on my purple and gold wrestling mask, and walked into her scene. We stood together -- crazy man and innocent middle-aged woman -- and yelled for the Tigers to win.

Toward the end of that week, I got an email from Gillette, and I was excited to see how this looked in the video. But they had somehow screwed up, and the video they sent me was two elderly men cheering for the Tigers. It was rather dull and lame.

Last week, they emailed me the same video again. I assume that they mixed up the emails from the Florida Gameday trip with the Virginia Tech trip, but I feel pretty confident that they're doing the same thing every Saturday, and then emailing hundreds -- if not thousands -- of people videos of strangers.

Their marketing people need to get it together.