Few people aren’t acknowledging that Gillette’s new ad is more about selling more razors than it is about wanting to create a positive message that encourages men to be good role models. Neither will I. I acknowledge it is first and foremost an ad to sell razors. That being said, it doesn’t mean a corporate giant like Gillette can’t also be genuinely trying to do good at the same time. I’ll admit that if they were convinced the ad wouldn’t stand much of a chance to sell more razors it’s highly unlikely they would have invested a penny into producing it.
Way too many ads convey images that have a negative influence on society. There’s no need for me to go into the details of the various products that project women as sex objects or treat consumers like idiots. We all know those ads.
If you haven’t seen the new Gillette ad, it’s a play on their famous The best a man canbetagline. They show a series of scenes where there’s bullying, sexual harassment, and general poor behaviour by men and boys that’s all too often are deemed acceptable. Then it’s followed by a series of positive scenes where men push back against such actions. It ends with a tagline that says, “The boys of today will be the men of tomorrow.” Click here if you want to see the ad.
The bottom line is that it’s a positive message trying to help shape men to be better.
There are two main groups protesting the ad. And they’re both part of the #BoycottGillette movement. One is a group that doesn’t want advertisers trying to be moral shapers of society. This is the smaller of the two groups. They say that advertisers should simply stick to selling their products without the moral commentary.
The second group that’s pushing back, and pushing hard, is a much larger and vocal group. There are some toxic tweets from this group in their attempt to shut this commercial down. They say it paints a negative image of men, some even say that the positive image they portray of men are weak men.
I don’t accept either groups arguments. I acknowledge their right to have and voice an opinion. But that’s it.
I applaud the Gillette ad. I know that a lot of people are applauding Gillette for taking such a risk. I don’t believe that it was that risky. Sure, they likely anticipated some backlash, but I suspect they had data to show that overall the commercial would play well.
I applaud the ad because I have no issue with advertisers using their influence to make moral commentary, especially when it’s on something as accepted as men using their influence to create better men. To those men who are offended by the negative image of men portrayed in the first part the commercial, I say, those are real scenarios that happen way too often. We need to be part of shaping a different world.
I don’t care that Gillette created this ad because it would sell more razors. I’m just glad they did it. Thank you Gillette.
I’ve longed believed that men have be more intentional about being strong role models for others. You can read these related posts I wrote a while back on men being better role models: