Men’s shaving, body wash and skin care brand Gillette is investigating whether stubble aversion among women is leading to a decline in kissing in America in its new Kiss & Tell campaign.
According to Susan Baba, Gillette U.S. communications manager at brand parent Procter & Gamble, the hypothesis that stubble could be killing kissing came from the Gillette India team, which has spent the past five years asking women what they find most kissable in its Women Against Lazy Stubble campaign.
“If stubble is killing the kiss in India, we thought maybe it would also be true for American couples,” Baba says.
The documentary explores the kissing/stubble issue through interviews with a kissing expert, stylist, author, barber, dermatologist and research scientist.
Gillette also explored the issue in a December survey of over 1000 women. The results are available in infographics on kissandtellus.com. Examples include: one out of three women have avoided kissing a guy because he had facial hair and more than half of women have experienced facial scraping or irritation after kissing a guy with facial hair.
“We created the site to be dynamic. It will be changing, with different levels of consumer engagement available,” Baba says.
That means the site, which launched earlier this month, will also include features like the ability to cast votes on smooth versus stubble. However, as of Friday, the site says, “Check back soon. Your vote can change the future of kissing.”
According to Baba, the site will give women an opportunity to voice their opinions in a fun and engaging way.
“One of the things we found out is men in general feel comfortable giving their partners input and feedback, but women don’t do that as much — especially with facial hair,” Baba says. “Instead of saying, ‘Hey, I wish you would shave,’ they take on compensating behaviors like kissing shorter, kissing less frequently and avoiding kissing.”
The live events are meant to further test the survey results by giving men and women an opportunity to kiss in person with and without stubble to discover which facial hair style women find more kissable. The tour kicked off on January 16 with events in New York and LA. Additional cities include Cincinnati, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.
As of January 28, Baba says couples will also be able to provide feedback on kissing and shaving at kissandtellus.com.
Gillette will announce the results of the tour on Valentine’s Day with another event Gillette says will include hundreds of men and women attempting to break two Guinness World Records — the largest shaving lesson and the most kisses in one minute.
The campaign has a universal target, but is especially relevant to younger consumers like college-age guys and men in their mid-20s, Baba says.
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