Here is the fourth in this fascinating series of articles by Matt Pisarcik of Razor Emporium:
The NEW razor was short lived and made way for the razors that most people know Gillette for: the One-Piece. Debuting in 1934, the Aristocrat was a model name used twice already that now carried a newly unveiled design. Using a twister knob at the bottom, engineers at Gillette were able to develop a razor model that could accommodate a double edge blade in a concise, one-piece style. One of the most interesting aspects of this consolidated design however was all of the marketing and gimmicks that sprung up around it.
The initial advertisements played up the convenience while using catch-phrases such as: “A Twist! It’s open, A Twist! It’s closed.” The ads promoted the idea that you no longer had loose parts or trouble loading a blade, basically evoking the premise of convenience and ease. Later into the 1940’s Gillette even put out a new blade dispenser to work in combination with their razors. At first, they were simply telling consumers to remove the blade and place it into the opened razor bay, but later modified the actual razor to allow the blade to hook onto the notched center bar. This scheme of a the disposable product being closer affiliated with the “Freebie” product increased customer loyalty of razor owners choosing genuine Gillette blades and not using third-party or off brand competitors.
Even while Gillette was producing this great new design, they still continued on with 3 piece style razors all the way into the 1960’s. They never phased out these inexpensive models because they were always after blade sales. However people would buy their razor blades, Gillette sold them a razor to do so. The idea of having a product range that all drove the same revenue-generating profit center (razor blades) is a marketing and business model that not only is successful, but also wide-spread in our modern day and age.
Advert images from Razor Archive.