As a lifelong fan of the superhero genre, I am anxiously anticipating the reemergence of Superman on the big screen. Of all superheroes, he is my favorite. What’s not to like. He’s strong, he flies, and he is invulnerable. However, his invulnerability begs the question, “How does he shave?” Actually, many comic book fans have debated that nagging question since Superman’s birth in 1934. Interestingly, Gillette has begun a star fueled video campaign to find the answer to this query. This quest involves five knowledgeable celebs who devise theories. We, the masses, continue the conversation and choose the one that seems most likely. Fun? Yes. Nonetheless, will it sell razor blades?
Celebs and their theories
The theories are as interesting as are the celebrities. We begin with the especially recognizable and likeable Bill Nye. Bill Nye, “The Science Guy” just so happens to be a mechanical engineer. Who knew? He wants to convince us that a “materials science theory” is the correct answer. Using the scientific method, he proposes that Superman uses a grinding method to remove his beard–probably using something Kryptonian.
Kevin Smith, of Jay and Silent Bob fame, is also an award winning screenwriter, actor, film producer, and director. Most importantly, though, he is a comic book writer and storeowner. Therefore, of course he is the true expert in this theory contest. He pooh-poohs the common theories, like Superman using his heat vision, instead offering his brilliant theory. Reminding us that baby Superman arrived in a spaceship sent from Krypton, he surmises that this would be the perfect material to cut his beard. If you agree, vote for the “Kryptonian rocket that brought Superman to Earth Theory.”
“Myth Busters” Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage take us through their thought processes as they ponder various possible theories, such as super tweezers. After batting a few theories around, they decide that the real purpose of the largest particle accelerator in the world is to shave Superman. They call theirs the “Large Hadron Collider Theory.”
In the television series, the “Big Bang Theory” Mayim Bailik’s character holds a PhD and is a neurobiologist. Interestingly, so does the real-life Mayim Bailik, although her PhD is in neuroscience. This educational background helped her arrive at her detailed theory that scientists found a special enzyme that allows the beard to be shaved. Prefacing this theory, she reveals that extensive Kryptonian genetic research has and is being conducted right now. Yes, she shares all of this with a straight face–brilliant.
Fun, but will it sell razors?
Gillette, owned by Procter & Gamble, makes dozens of razors and even more skin care products, all of which appear to sell well. However, for most of their existence, their main razor market targeted men, as is evident in their old motto, “”The best a man can get.” This is not the case today. In fact, their Venus line of razors is highly popular with women. Even so, their focus is still mostly on men’s needs. Moreover, with a stagnate economy, purchasing a new razor — or even blades — may be expecting too much of many consumers. Consequently, this campaign couldn’t hurt. At any rate, it is good clean fun and the outcome could be a “close shave.”
FYI: My vote is on Kevin Smith’s “Kryptonian rocket that brought Superman to Earth Theory.” Yours?
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