updated 5/29/2009 7:54:59 PM ET 2009-05-29T23:54:59

Procter & Gamble Co.’s Gillette brand is building a buzz with online videos offering men how-to instructions on shaving everything from back hair to lower regions.

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The videos promote use of Gillette blades and razors beyond the face for body shaving, or what some folks call “manscaping,” and also the growing line of Gillette accessory products such as body wash, gels and after-shave balms.

Gillette’s YouTube site had topped more than 300,000 views in less than a month by Friday, and the lighthearted instructional clips are also being passed along by bloggers and around digital social-network sites such as Twitter.

“The response has been really positive,” Gillette spokesman Michael Norton said. “It’s just one of those situations where you see a lot of posts about the videos.”

The videos feature cartoon characters in silhouette offering light-hearted demonstrations.

“Our goal was to engage guys in a dialogue on the whys and how-to’s, and to do it comfortably and reassure them in a funny and entertaining way,” said Tim Williams, a Gillette marketing official.

Williams said Gillette researchers had interviewed both men and women beforehand to test the videos for offensiveness, and there has been little negative feedback. He also said Gillette research found that about one in three men shave hair on other parts of the body besides their face.

Chris Bergman, a social media strategist for Cincinnati-based Buzz360 marketing, said the Gillette videos are reaching an important target audience.

“I think it hits their demographic perfectly, as far as getting the younger males who tend to prefer goofy, fun things,” Bergman said. “They definitely took a leap, and it looks like it worked.”

Philips Norelco has reported good success for its electric Bodygroom, launched in 2006 and touted by the maker for safely trimming and shaving “all body zones.” Another P&G brand, Braun, recently launched a competing electric BodyCruzer in the United States. The body-hair trimmer, which was already available in Europe, includes a Gillette Fusion blade.

Cincinnati-based consumer products maker P&G acquired Boston-based Gillette in 2005, and has been expanding the Gillette portfolio. The five-bladed Fusion shaver reached $1 billion in annual sales two years after its 2006 launch.

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