Gillette's New 'ProGlide Flex Ball' Razor Is Next-Level And Totally Unnecessary

Gentlemen and gentlemen, are you prepared for a next-level experience in facial haircare? Lucky for you, The Wall Street Journal was able to obtain marketing materials for Gillette's newest product, the ProGlide FlexBall, and it is as sexy as the name would have you think. The ProGlide FlexBall features a number of desirable improvements from earlier, primitive versions, including a handle which allows the razor cartridge to pivot, 20% fewer missed hairs, the ability to cut hairs 23 microns shorter, and 23% increased skin contact. Apparently.

Procter & Gamble is preparing to rollout the sorcerer's wand of a grooming tool around Father's Day, and plans to spend around $200 million on marketing in the first year.

As the WSJ points out, the release of the razor comes at an odd time in the culture of facial hair: more than ever, urban and suburban men, and a few brave women, are sporting thick beards and mustaches, rendering simple razors unused by a large portion of America's youth. In fact, Jon Moeller, Gillette's financial chief, blamed "Movember" for a plummet in shaving related sales in 2013.

New York Magazine's Kevin Roose is outraged by the marketing gimmick and doubts that the new model will do anything but dupe gullible customers seeking a strong jawline into throwing out their old, perfectly fine razors in favor of this new, likely perfectly fine razor.

We're of the mind that, unless this tool somehow manages to bring us and our partners to completion, the market is probably just as well without it.

Still, if Gillette wants to innovate beyond the ProFlex GuideBall (ProGuide FlexBall? I give up), it will need to start thinking even further outside the box. With that in mind, I happily offer my ideation talents to P&G with the following suggestions for follow ups to the GuideFlex ProBall. They are as follows:

  1. The HairBaller Deluxe - This razor is made of beautifully handcrafted stainless steel and acts as a melon-baller might inside a honeydew, removing spherical sections from your beard, one at a time. Jealous of the guy that is either a bartender or indigent alcoholic at the local speakeasy? Never fear… Now, everyone will be jealous of you. $9.99 for a pack of 3.
  2. ProWax FlexMask - Do you look like you're wearing a year round ski mask? The ProWax FlexMask is designed for those of us who, well, could stand to get rid of some of that pesky cheek, forehead and neck beard. Simply cut out holes for your eyebrows, eyes and mouth, and place the disposable mask (wax side down!) on your face. Bite down hard on your complimentary bite stick, and in one swift motion, pull the mask off. Some redness and swelling is to be expected. $12.79 for 3 disposable masks and one plastic bite stick.
  3. Hands-Free ShearsX - Hands-Free ShearsX are the next big thing in male grooming on the go. Simply fasten your pre-owned, repurposed lamb shears (used by New Zealand shepherds!) to your safety helmet, press the on button, and hop on the express train to a hairless chin. If you get cut? No worries! Exposed sub-flesh is negative microns of hair… Take that, Gillette. $22.99 for a set of shears, helmet sold separately.
  4. Beard Trimmer - That's what everyone is using now, isn't it? $12 for 1 rechargeable device from essentially anywhere.

Image: WSJ Live