“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.


Headline
:

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.
Remember?

 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