Flapper Insert Gives Gillette Fusion Cutting Edge

Procter & Gamble Co.  recently debuted Gillette’s Fusion razor with a “flapper” magazine insert in men’s magazine Maxim.

The multichannel product launch was the first campaign to use the patented interchanging four-panel design within a magazine. The creative, designed by BBDO and Structural Graphics’ Intervisual, highlights the razor’s unique five-blade front-rear precision design.

“A lot of times a flapper is used with a new product,” said Jim Richwine, executive vice president of Intervisual, Santa Monica, CA.

Based on its interactive nature and layout, a flapper design is effective for telling a brand story and keeping the consumer engaged, he said.

The Fusion product launch was accompanied by a site at www.gillettefusion.com, banner and print ads, and television spots. The slogan, “Breakthrough technology on the front and the back,” appears in all the creative including the insert.

The Gillette flapper hangs on a full ad carrier page in Maxim. Once torn off, the flapper is a standalone 3-D piece, which literally illustrates the concept front and back.

The flapper insert was released at the end of the first quarter. However, direct results weren’t recorded as the promotion did not feature a specific call to action. Instead, the thrust of the campaign was to create awareness of the new product. Results of the insertion rate report are pending.

“The No. 1 thing is that it’s fun and interactive,” Mr. Richwine said. “When people start to read a flapper they continue to read it.”

The flapper design is used most often as a direct mail piece, he said. It serves as its own envelope and can be any size, cutting down on costs. It also can be used as a handout or traditional insert.

For Gillette’s magazine push, the flapper required a purchase of ad space to provide a carrier page. Bindery testing was done before shipping the insert, and no problems arose with the flapper-insert attachment.

The flapper can be printed inline — four panels printed on one page — which brings savings to the advertiser, Mr. Richwine said. Structural Graphics, Essex, CT, has direct mail clients using the design and is discussing more magazine insert projects with clients.

“We’ve had snack food companies use it, Microsoft has used it, Intel has used it, the New York health board has used it,” he said. “People who use [the flapper] want to get their clients interacting with their brand.”

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