A new ad for an electric razor pokes fun at companies looking to outscrape each other by continually adding more blades to their more old-fashioned devices.

Norelco parody ad for fictional Quintippio 15-blade razor

The Quintippio is a fictional 15-bladed razor created by advertiser Tribal DDB on behalf of Phillips Norelco products.

The script of the commercial proclaims:

“Looking for a close shave? Then you’re looking for the new Quintippio Mega Shave, now with 15 extra large blades!”

The spoof comes on the heels of last year’s real-life introduction of the four-bladed Schick Quattro, and last month’s five-bladed Fusion by Gillette.

At least one industry analyst gives the parody spot high marks.

“Norelco takes a very good – and well-deserved shot – at both Gillette and Schick for their multi-blade obsession,” says David Vinjamuri, a former brand manager at Johnson & Johnson and Coca-Cola, who now teaches marketing at New York University.

“Norelco makes the category leader look out of touch – although the end-benefit of “multi-blade” is supposed to be “close shave,” it is not clear that either Gillette or Schick remember this. Gillette’s macho, tech-oriented advertising is so obsessed with the product that it seems to forget the consumer in the process. Schick played a neat trick by out-Gillette-ing Gillette with four blades, but it is not clear that it helped consumers at all.”

In the mid-1970s, NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” made fun of the twin-blade shaver, the Gillette Trac II, by creating a spoof commercial for a then-non-existent Gillette Trac III, with the tagline: “The Trac III, because you will believe anything.”

In 1979, Mad Magazine came up with the Trac LXXVI: a 76 blade razor that “… wrap[s] around an entire face and shave it close and clean in two or three effortless moves.”

And, ironically, more than a year preceding the debut of the real-life five-blade Fusion, the satire magazine the Onion published a mock commentary by the Gillette CEO James Kilts, who declared he’d market a five-blader:

“What part of this don’t you understand? If two blades is good, and three blades is better, obviously five blades would make us the best [expletive deleted] razor that ever existed. Comprend?? … All we have to do is put her out there with a little jingle. It’s as easy as, ‘Hey, shaving with anything less than five blades is like scraping your beard off with a dull hatchet.'”

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