“If your mother won’t pay a bit more to give you this cordless shaver, it isn’t because she’s pinching pennies.”

This full-page Rem­ing­ton Shaver adver­tise­ment in a pre­mi­um posi­tion in Life Mag­a­zine, July 23, 1965 is well designed. The illus­tra­tion is large, there’s good bal­ance in the lay­out and white space is used effectively…but the copy is thought­less, poor­ly writ­ten, hard to read,  and demon­strates a total igno­rance of how men think about shaving.

printers devil

You have to won­der who cre­at­ed this adver­tise­ment.
Who wrote this head­line and this copy?  Who approved it!

And, when you have con­sid­ered this Rem­ing­ton adver­tise­ment, con­trast it with the Schick razor adver­tise­ment that follows.


Here is the complete message from Remington:

The head­line —in fact, every­thing that the copy­writer wrote—insults women, par­tic­u­lar­ly mothers.

The last para­graph of the body-copy insults men, espe­cial­ly young men.

And the copy­writer explains the head­line with this insult: “It’s prob­a­bly because you’re still her lit­tle boy.” What man wants to be told that he is Mama’s lit­tle boy.

Who is the tar­get audi­ence? Do moth­ers gen­er­al­ly buy razors/shavers for young men?

The head­line and body-copy are not helped by the pho­to­graph of the “gener­ic” lit­tle boy who won’t shave for anoth­er ten years.


If your moth­er won’t pay a bit more to give you this cord­less shaver, it isn’t because she’s pinch­ing pennies.

Body copy:

Sen­ti­men­tal mom.
Still can’t accept the facts of life. Sit down and tell her a few. About the REMINGTON LEKTRONIC II Shaver.
Tell her it’s cord­less. That it runs on recharge­able ener­gy cells. So you can shave on the spot. Any spot.
Tell her about the big shaver head.With 756 slots. How once a whisker goes through, it’s gone.
Tell her about the 4 roller combs on top. How they let you get to the whiskers, but not the skin.
Tell her about 348 cut­ting edges. That start keen, stay keen because they’re  honed from sur­gi­cal high-car­bon steel.
Tell her the REMINGTON LEKTRONIC II mot­er is the most pow­er­ful in elec­tric shav­ing. No slow­down on sen­si­tive spots like your upper lip or around your jaw.
Tell her how the head case flicks off—and there’s a straight cut­ting edge for clean, even side­burns. Neat.
Will all this change your mother’s mind?
Don’t ask us. You’re a big boy now.

 Contrast the copy approach above with this
Schick Shaver advertisement

Schick appeals directly to men: Men who shave.

The head­line is very clear and direct:
This shaver has a head of its own. No oth­er shaver has this sen­sa­tion­al 2‑M hol­low ground shear­ing head.

The copy quick­ly speaks to men who haven’t got an elec­tric shaver, answer­ing their unspo­ken questions:

Maybe you’ve tried oth­er elec­tric shavers—and been dis­ap­point­ed. Then try this new Schick—and be joyed at the way it shears off your whiskers 30% quicker—close and clean—with no chance of nicks, scrapes, burns or pull!

This fol­lowed by a para­graph that sells the product:

That’s because Schick’s new 2M Head is hol­low-ground to arch the skin sur­face and make the beard stand up to be shaved off right down to the base.

Time to answer the reader’s doubts:

You can’t believe it? Okeh—get a new Schick and see for your­self. If after 30 days, you’re not con­vinced, your deal­er will refund every pen­ny you paid! 

There are three key infor­ma­tive sections:

  1. The top boxed-sec­tion describes the prod­uct illus­trat­ed below the head­line and sets down the prices: $15.00 in a sim­u­lat­ed alli­ga­tor tuck-away case or, packed in deluxe Dress-Kit for $17.50. There’s the Schick Fly­er for $12.50 and the pop­u­lar CAPTAIN mod­el as low as $9.95. There are even easy pay­ment terms!
  2. The ball-shaped sec­tion that sum­ma­rizes the key spec­i­fi­ca­tions: the new 2‑M Shear­ing Head, the Fly­ing Shut­tle Shaver, the Whisk-it, and the “Brand new styling by Ray­mond Loewy—world famous designer.”
  3. The sec­tion at the foot of the adver­tise­ment for exist­ing Schick own­ers; They could get the 2‑M head for their old­er shavers for only $3.00. “You get the new head expert­ly fit­ted, and the whole shaver inspect­ed, cleaned, lubri­cat­ed, and adjust­ed free of charge.”

The clever head­line is matched with the product’s slo­gan at the bot­tom: Noth­ing Quick­er, Noth­ing Slick­er, NEW SCHICK SUPER SLICK SHAVER