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Edge Shave Gel Company Attempts to Stop Irritation, Buy Loyalty

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You’re irritated. And if you’re not now, you will be. Maybe even soon.

But then along comes Edge Shave Gel with its pun-intended “anti-irritation” campaign, aiming (randomly) to quell people's disgust (at whatever) with free stuff in exchange for quality gripes.

Jeffrey Wolf, Edge's senior brand manager, calls it "the anti-irritation platform,” and the company has already given away a megaphone to a university professor whose husband allegedly never listens to her, a Blu-ray disc player and the movie Office Space to a worker annoyed by a coworker, and most impressive of all, tickets to a New England Patriots game to a fan named Matthew DeCoste who tweeted his irritation at not being able to score them himself. “DeCoste apparently heard of the promotion from a friend at a time when Edge was giving out iTunes and Starbucks gift cards, and he thought he'd try upping the ante,” reports Advertising Age.

The campaign started last month and included the release of a ranking of the 50 most-irritated US cities (Atlanta was first, largely due to traffic) and a Twitter campaign. The company's website also boasts an anti-irritation community.

But will random acts of gifting really impact product sales? Wolf's not sure yet, but says the effort is "part of a shift from a heavy focus on promotion under former Edge owner SC Johnson to more brand-equity-building activity since Energizer bought it last year. Energizer and Edge have continued to gain share in shave preparations since the sale (up 5.1 points for the four weeks ended Sept. 5, thanks in part to sibling Schick entering the fray earlier this year, but despite a new push by rival Procter & Gamble Co.'s Gillette Fusion ProSeries products)."

Of course, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Recent complaints not quite as easy to rectify include: “a neighbor's barking dog, a UPS package stolen from a porch, a ham-handed blood drawer, high Ticketmaster fees, and a ‘power-mad boss’ who's made employees cry for eight straight days.”

Wolf is part of a panel of employees who review consumer complaints and then decide which to address and how.

(So what are you waiting for? Start whining.)
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.