As a part of Islamic religion, Iran men consider beard as a natural beauty that shows respect and power. Moreover, it is used to differentiate between men and women, “Indeed the benefits of the beard being specifically associated to the male and not the female points to the fact that, respect, male beauty and esteem are required by the male more than the female”(Allamah, “The Islamic Perspective of The Beard”). Furthermore, men with beard are Allah’s believers that differentiate with non-believers who have no beard. Therefore, shaving beard is an unlawful act, “altering the creation of Allah” or ““The shaving of the beard is indeed considered an unjust action, may the curse of Allah befall those who are unjust”(Allamah, “The Islamic Perspective of The Beard”) .
Because of this, it seems impossible for Gillette to promote its razors in Iran. However, Gillette promoted its products in a unique way. The company persuaded a newspaper advertising manager and his clergyman with an argument, “shaving is not just for your face…if you have a car accident and someone has to shave your head, Gillette Blue II is the best” (Mueller, 130).
In 1997, Nike expanded its business in Islamic countries but failed to promote its brand. The company used a logo on a line of basketball shoes. Islamic leaders were offended because the logo resembled to the word “Allah”, which is highly inappropriate. Nike had to withdraw 38,000 pairs of shoes and promised to donate a $50,000 playground for an Islamic elementary school in US.
Allamah, Dino. The Islamic Perspective of The Beard. Al-Islam, n.d., www.al-islam.org/articles/islamic-perspective-of-the-beard. Accessed 4 April 2017.
Mueller, Barbara. Dynamics of International Advertising: Theoretical and Practical Perspectives. Peter Lang, 2011.