Case Study: Gillette Gets Personal With Influencers

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Instagram Influencer Marketing Case Study: Gillette Gifts Customized Shaves With Instagrammers

As the holiday season drew to a close and the commercial endeavors of America’s biggest brands wound down their Christmas operations, we at Mediakix thought there would be no better time than to look at an Instagram influencer marketing campaign that stood out from the crowd last year. We’ll be analyzing how Gillette’s marketing strategies pulled in social media influencers from summer last year through the holiday period, and more specifically, how the brand successfully harnessed Instagram’s thriving audience.

Previously, Gillette marketing has employed brand influencers on Instagram to compete with flourishing competition from direct-to-consumer brands such as Harry’s, Dollar Shave Club, and Billie, all of which have used social media marketing to great effect in recent years.

In response to these emerging brands and their adept use of social media marketing—often designed to take aim at Gillette, the Goliath of the business which has lost chunks of its market share—Gillette has honed its influencer marketing strategy by utilizing star power, including standout athlete influencers.

Gillette’s marketing strategy was very much in the same vein as previous years, using various influencer tiers to endorse their products in the run-up to the most lucrative season of the year for brands. To better understand the extended performance, let’s explore Gillette’s Instagram influencer marketing strategy.

Gillette Personalizes Men’s Grooming With Instagram Influencers


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  • Appeal to the predominantly male demographic aged 18 years and older through endorsements by male influencers, including athletes, gay males, and fathers.

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  • Target the female consumer base by utilizing female Instagram influencers to exhibit gift-giving on their social media channels for husbands, boyfriends, or family members.

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  • Use influencer endorsements to raise awareness of its Gillette On Demand service in response to the successes of market competitors.


  • Channel – Instagram
  • Influencers – Male influencers, athlete influencers, family influencers, gay influencers, female influencers

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Gillette’s marketing strategy campaigned extensively through December, with most of its influencers beginning their promotional ads on Instagram from the 12th onwards. The influencers typically focused on a family-oriented approach, with athlete influencers Larry Nance Jr and Shaquem Griffin both centering their ads on their relationships with their fathers.

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Other influencers opted to center their campaigns on other relationships such as husbands, partners, or siblings, usually with an emphasis on gift-giving for Christmas. Positivity, individuality, and family were common themes in each post, with influencers regularly using the tags #GillettePartner and #YourDesignHere—promoting Gillette’s personalized razor service.


Combined results from 42 analyzed posts for Gillette’s influencer marketing strategy:

Social Reach

  • Instagram followers targeted: 12,896,806


  • Likes: 471,209
  • Comments: 4,663
  • Hashtag usage: 493 (#GillettePartner, #MyGilletteShave)
  • Average engagement rate: 3.1%

Shaquem Griffin Hits Hard With Father-Son Bond

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Football linebacker Shaquem Griffin is one of the more prominent influencers for Gillette, with 466,000 followers on Instagram. Griffin uploaded an Instagram post in early December commenting on his relationship with his father and encouraging others to do so with the tag #NothingComesEasy—the tagline of his previous video ad that Gillette released in the fall. Griffin’s highest-performing post of his campaign, a candid photo of himself holding a personalized razor handle with Gillette’s #YourDesignHere tag, picked up a hefty 46,747 likes and 275 comments for a highly impressive engagement rate of 10.1%.

Summer Shores Spreads Festive Spirit

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Popular mommy Instagrammer Summer Shores is best known to her fans for regular insights into her family life, parenting, and fitness. Shores’ campaign for Gillette centered on a post highlighting her getting a Gillette razor for her partner and encouraging others to do the same, using the tag #GillettePartner. A single mom in her early 20s with a modest yet substantial following (126,000 followers), Shores represents a key demographic target for a brand like Gillette. Her audience is receptive and not cynical of sponsored content, with virtually all comments on the post in support of her. With 5,034 likes and 39 comments, Shores’ post accrued an engagement rate of 4%.

Terrell and Jarius Get Fatherly

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Terrell and Jarius Joseph are gay parents with an Instagram following of 161,000 fans on the platform. Though the vast majority of influencer campaigns were featured around the winter holiday period, Terrell and Jarius’ campaign is notable for being posted in the height of last summer. Still, with the focus on gift-giving, the dads’ post is of their son looking up while his dad shaves. The post’s sponsored text recommends purchasing ‘the best gift a man can get’, promoting Gillette’s personalized razor handle along with the tags #YourDesignHere and #GillettePartner. With 2,313 likes and 114 comments, Terrell and Jarius’ post picked up an engagement rate of 1.5%.

Nyle DiMarco Turns Up The Temperature With Heated Razor

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As the most prominent Instagram influencer in their lineup, model and activist Nyle DiMarco is a lucrative choice for Gillette’s marketing push—with 1.7 million followers, he is a hot commodity. DiMarco’s sponsored post featured two high-quality images of him shaving with Gillette’s new Heated Razor and used the promotional tags #GilletteLabs, #GilletteHeatedRazor, and #GillettePartner. Posted at the end of September, DiMarco proves that a heavyweight influencer of his size can be invaluable for a brand of Gillette’s stature in raising awareness among key demographics. With 160,818 likes and 1,639 comments, DiMarco garnered an impressive engagement rate of 9.5%.


  • Gillette targeted a wide range of influencers in its campaign, resonating with Millennial consumers.
  • Gift-giving was a primary theme of the campaign, with influencers frequently making reference to Gillette products being a suitable gift for family members during both the holiday season and outside of it.
  • Gillette leveraged gay influencers in addition to more traditional influencers like athletes and parents.
  • Influencers typically presented a personal message in their campaigns, though common themes, tags, and brand messages remained consistent.