There hasn’t been a good razor-related marketing whinge on this blog in a while, so whilst combing through the back catalogue of emails that’s built up in my inbox over the past week I’m extremely surprised and shocked that I didn’t pounce on Toby‘s message regarding the new-if-inevitable offering by shaving boffins Gillette, in the form of the Gillette Fusion Power Gamer.

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Picture lifted from eBay. Does it seem like I've stopped caring?

It’s the natural progression, really – sort of like the bastard offspring of the visionary M3 Power model (the one which claims to use “micropulse technology”, but in fact simply vibrates back & forth a little)**, and the Fusion (the 4-bladed razor which improves shaving times by requiring half as many facial strokes as a 2 bladed razor, and so much metal that the MoD are working on a program to manufacture body armor out of peoples spent razor cartridges to send over to the British Boys in Basra.

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As the infographic on the site indicates, the Fusion Power combines the best (read: most expensive) features of its progenitors, being 5 blade shaving, single blade trimmer on the back, 15 microfins, and micropulses.  However in a genius move which even The D-Generation didn’t predict, the Gillette Science Team (possibly with some brainpower lent across from The Ponds Institute) have come up with the idea of adding a microchip (onboard for consistent power), a battery indicator light, and an automatic shutoff mechanism.

Taking an educated guess, one would hazard a punt that the actual purpose of embedding a microchip and a light would be to drain the battery more quickly.  Spare batteries of course being produced by sibling company in the Proctor & Gamble Group, Duracell.  An auto-shutoff mechanism may be helpful, although I would again cynically guess that this is somehow based on a timer and pressure sensor (why not: the microchip’s probably not otherwise kept busy by much)… customarily the only time my M3 Power was left switched on by mistake – given its propensity to rattle itself off the windowsill if you put it down switched on – was when it was packed in my luggage in an airplane baggage hold and the bag was squished so something pushed the on button.

What is less obvious, however, is what the hell’s going on with the “Gamer” branding.  Going by the graphics on the site’s flashy flashy splash page, it’s slightly ambiguous as to whether they’re referring to the “gamer” as someone who plays video games (as the unrealistic CG characters would represent), or if the sporty focus is meant to appeal to those who are involved in games of sport.  Or possibly both.  In any case, this fails to address that many game nerds are either not in need of shaving equipment due to being too young, or live with their mums and therefore don’t need to shave to impress the Laydeez, because chances of them ever meeting one are near nonexistant anyway.

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Some of the copy: “Every man is looking for a competitive edge. Get the most sophisticated manual shaving technology on your side and get in the game with the Gillette Fusion Gamer.”.  I couldn’t possibly improve on Toby’s summary response, which was: “WTF?”.

Having said that, based on past performance I’m confident that should the current Difficult Economic Times not see me living on the street in the next fortnight, I’ll have purchased a Gillette Fusion Power Gamer in the next 4-6 months, and will be keeping VERY quiet about it: being found out only when my next houseguest sees its dull battery indicator light peeping out from amid the forest of spent razor stalks and abandonded toothbrushes clustered in the repurposed whisky tumbler on our bathroom shelf.  Unless of course they release one that makes phonecalls, faxes, and has a built in Twitter client.

** It’s probably worth mentioning that I typically use a Gillette M3 Power generally, and have done so since I was given one for Christmas by the lovely Charlie.  Of late I’ve been using the King of Shaves “Azor Hybrid Synergy System Razor“, to see if it’s as genuinely excellent as the rest of the products that company has produced (Kinexium Shave Oil being the finest shaving thing EVER).  I won’t claim the Azor does a bad job, however it reliably misses and is difficult to get at the little spot just under my left nostril, and I routinely get a certain taste in my mouth when shaving with it which I’m not 100% unconvinced isn’t blood.