Gillette recently released a marketing campaign to address the #MeToo movement and vowed to ‘actively challenge the stereotypes and expectations of what it means to be a man’. The company released an ad, putting a new spin on its famous tagline, ‘the best a man can get’. The ad campaign has been met with mixed reactions, with some praising the Gillette’s progressive commercial and others criticizing the move.
On its website, the company further explained its new campaign, saying “Our tagline needs to continue to inspire us all to be better every day, and to help create a new standard for boys to admire and for men to achieve… Because the boys of today are the men of tomorrow. We’ve all got work to do. And it starts today.”
The company’s campaign was launched with a video on YouTube and was shared on its various social media profile, with the following text: ““Boys will be boys?”? Isn’t it time we stopped excusing bad behavior?” The company further asked consumers to visit the website TheBestMenCanBe.org, leading to a page that explains the campaign and its promises.
On the landing page, Gillette explains, “It’s time we acknowledge that brands, like ours, play a role in influencing culture. And as a company that encourages men to be their best, we have a responsibility to make sure we are promoting positive, attainable, inclusive and healthy versions of what it means to be a man… From today on, we pledge to actively challenge the stereotypes and expectations of what it means to be a man everywhere you see Gillette. In the ads we run, the images we publish to social media, the words we choose, and so much more.”
In response to the ad, a Twitter user posted, “I am taking action. I’m researching every product made by Procter & Gamble, throwing any I have in the trash, and never buying any of them again until everyone involved in this ad from top to bottom is fired and the company issues a public apology.” Another Twitter user said, “Just sell some damn razors and keep your social justice stupidity out of it. Looks like it’s @DollarShaveClub from now on.”
There has also been criticism because the new campaign contradicts some of the company’s marketing messages in the past. Whereas, some people have noted that a shaving brand shouldn’t be associated with the #MeToo movement.
On the other hand, many praised the company’s new messaging. One Twitter user said, “Way to go @Gillette. Yes, thank you – More please. How absolutely brave of you to be at the forefront of shedding light on this. Only Gillette for my legs and beard from now on. THANK YOU!”
The mixed reactions to the campaign highlight the risks associated with organizations taking a stance on social and political issues. The backlash to Gillette’s campaign, however, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a failure on their part.
Rob Saunders, an account manager at Media Agency Group, says, “Their ad is getting them good publicity and good numbers and causing debate – which they must have known when they put out this ad.”