There was a time when people who knew what “Stark Industries” referred to, or who could talk about vibranium, or Asgardian technology, or the effects of gamma radiation, were part of a very exclusive club of nerds. Now, though, they’re just people who go to the movies. Or, perhaps, brands who want to reach a movie-going audience. In what may be the dorkiest press conference ever staged, Gillette–the razor company–revealed today its tie-in to Avengers: Age Of Ultron, and achieved a new height in the mainstreaming of things that you might have once gotten a wedgie for knowing about.
Launching with a fake press conference livestreamed at 10 a.m. Thursday, Gillette announced a “partnership” with Stark Industries–the technology behemoth run by Robert Downey Jr.’s character in the Avengers franchise–that saw them introduce Avengers technology into their razor technology. As ARG-style marketing goes, Gillette proves themselves very committed (they even sprang for an awkward cameo by one of America’s better-loved nonagenarians, Stan Lee) to the idea: The highlight of the press conference (which was held by actual Gillette CEO Charlie Pierce in Boston) starts at 3:13 in the livestream, and features the introduction of razors inspired by Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and the Hulk. The fake commercial for the products is actually pretty funny–the team behind the ad knows their stuff well enough for the Marvel in-jokes to land.
It should go without saying, but Gillette isn’t actually launching a new line of razors inspired by Avengers technology, despite the lengths they went to in the press conference. The company had been pushing the event all month–first in the form of April Fool’s Day spots on Korean YouTube, then via promo briefcases sent to local Boston press touting the event (they told the Boston Globe that “celebrities may attend,” not mentioning that they meant Stan Lee and not Robert Downey Jr.). Instead, the conference introduced a new 30-second spot explaining that the company’s “Flexball” technology is the exact right amount of tech in a razor, which airs in conjunction with Age of Ultron. However, fans who want a replica of the razors do have a chance to get one–Gillette will be giving some limited number of them away via their social media channels, if you can’t bear the thought of shaving your face with a razor that isn’t adorned with Captain America’s shield or that doesn’t look like Thor’s hammer.