Proctor & Gamble Buys Gillette

Look sharp. Feel sharp. Be sharp.

I read in tonight’s paper that P&G is going to do something new with low-cost electric toothbrushes. They’re also going to roll out a new toothpaste that actually fights plaque, the culmination of a 10 year lab development effort.

The article also said that P&G bought Gillette quite some time ago. Your fearless reporter didn’t quite catch what this had to do with the toothpaste rollout. But don’t go away. What I want to know:

Will the marketing geniuses at Proctor & Gamble be able to figure out a logical way to help customers match up the right blades to their Gillette razors?

I own a Mach3, a top of the line Gillette model of maybe five years ago, which takes a cartridge with 3 parallel blades. It gives a nice shave and the blade cartridge stays sharp almost forever, helping me get even for the outrageous cost. They still market this razor, but it’s hard to find blades for it.

I found blades for the “Sensor” model, which has 3 parallel blades also. Some other annoyed customer had rudely ripped open a package to inspect the enclosed cartridge, so I happily looked inside and determined that the Sensor wouldn’t fit a Mach3. They sell Sensor razors which look the same but with a sports handle.

In Phoenix I have a shaver that takes a two-blade cartridge. It’s so old I forget the name. Atra, I think. TracII is the same thing but even older. I only bought the Atra to have a razor that fit the expensive blades I bought for an old TracII that didn’t fit.

Actually, I think that’s the strategy that got me to trade up to the Mach3, too. So, their scheme works, after all.

If you’re a gal, you probably don’t have to worry about all this so much. But now they make shavers for ladies too. My advice: buy one shaver and a lifetime supply of blades. Life is too complicated as it is, to have to make a decision tree to decide which razor and blades to buy.

Maybe now Mr. Clean can figure it all out for us.

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