Sometimes honesty is the best policy. Even, and this might be a shock to any marketers out there, in advertisements. Case in point; this 1968 Schick advertisement for a free razor. It’s interesting not just because of its honestly, but also because it gives a little insight into what you had to pay for shaving gear back in the day.
On one hand, you could spend one dollar forty nine US to get two blades and a Gillette razor. Or you could buy four of Schick’s new blades and get the razor free. The price of the blades is 89 cents, as shown on the pack in the lower right corner of the ad. It would been a good deal if it’s the cost was less three US dollars, but for less than a dollar it is a great deal.
For comparison, 1.49USD in 1968 is the equivalent of 28.66USD / 21.81GBP / 25.68€ / 247.21NOK. I can buy a modern razor for less, and it will often come with a a single blade. Although, in fairness, in the case of Merkur razors the blade is worthless.
But if you actually read the Schick advertisement, the more interesting bit shows up: They admit that they will be loosing money on this stunt. As they say, giving away free razors is going to cost them plenty. Considering that Schick sold the same razor for 57cents in 1968, there was real money on the line. At the same time, the profit margin on the blades might have been enough to offset the cost. The whole point was, as this Schick advertisement point out, to get shavers to try their new blade. The razors were just a mean to an end, and the end was selling blades. And the honesty of that statement makes me more likely to go for their offer over the Gillette.
I did also locate a photo of a Schick Krona alongside a Gillette razor over at Wikimedia, for those wanting to see it in the flesh, as it were.