Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Manual vs. Battery-Operated (or "The Ignorance of Gillette")

In the latest Gillette Fusion advertisements, Gillette says that the Fusion is available in "both manual and battery-operated" versions.

If you're not aware, the battery-operated Gillette Fusion has a button that you press that will cause a 1.5V battery to drive a small DC motor that causes the blades of the razor to vibrate in a circular motion that lifts hair away from the face.

Now, if that's the "battery-operated" version, then I would say that a version described as "manual" would have a little button that you could press over and over again to cause the blades to do the same thing, except that they would be powered by your hand rather than the battery. That's what "manual" means. A manual transmission is one that requires me to shift the gears. If I get an automatic transmission, then it does the gear shifting for me. However, on BOTH cases gears are being shifted.

In Gillette's case, the "manual" simply strips out functionality. There's no way I can get the manual razor to do what the battery-operated one does. In fact, it takes different blades that do not permit this sort of motion.

So it's a really poor choice of words. Something more like, "Available in vibrating and non-vibrating versions" would have made more sense.

But instead they say "manual"... And it makes me mad every time I hear it. I think they purposely did it this way because any other way would make the "manual" version sound like it did less.

This is simply not The Best a Man Can Get.

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