Threatened by new razor subscription services that cut into its market share, Gillette switched to aggressive mode. For its latest Twitter campaign, the brand tracked down tweets by unsatisfied Dollar Shave Club customers and retweeted them as Promoted Tweets.
“Tried Dollar Shave Club and didn’t like the blades at all. You’ve won me back @Gillette,” one customer tweeted.
The campaign quickly sparked a backlash, with users accusing Gillette of going too far by attacking the industry underdog. However, with increasing dominance in search and web traffic, Dollar Shave Club is no longer at a disadvantage.
The subscription retailer saw three times more monthly searches than Gillette in the second half of 2014, according to L2’s Digital IQ Index: Personal Care. When users type the phrase “shave club” into Google, the knowledge graph features Dollar Shave Club, rather than Gillette’s own shave club.
As a result, Gillette’s site traffic has plunged while its competitor’s has thrived. Visits to Gillette.com declined by 65% in the past year, according to the L2 study. In contrast, Dollarshaveclub.com traffic surged by 59%. Gillette’s Twitter campaign might ultimately broaden the gap by piquing the interest of followers who haven’t yet heard of the subscription service, motivating them to search out Dollar Shave Club’s site and see what all the controversy is about.