Source: Wikimedia Commons
Gillette isn’t a company whose name can be easily forgotten. Formed in 1901, over a century ago, and currently owned by multinational corporation Proctor & Gamble, Gillette has succeeded by being one of, if not the razor fit for men, with its iconic saying: “The Best a Man Can Get”.
However, Gillette recently made a short film called “We Believe”, which delved into the recent step-up in male behaviour, displaying how males are more conscious of others, and that the saying “boys will be boys” doesn’t stand anymore.
In the ad, they drove out issues on bullying, the #MeToo movement, and other behaviours regarding men, saying that men need to be teaching the boys respect, as they will be ‘The Men of Tomorrow’.
Since they were going into such a serious and recent issue, they were obviously preparing for some criticism about their ad. What they weren’t expecting was the sheer amount of controversy that they’ve gotten themselves into.
Their ad on YouTube currently has just over 1 million dislikes at the time of writing, and many people on both YouTube and Twitter say that they and their family will never buy any products from Gillette ever again.
Many people claim that this ad is portraying men as the enemy of the people, claiming them responsible for toxic behaviour like teaching boys that fighting with others is alright, sexual harassment is alright, and starting arguments is alright.
One angry reviewer notes “I’m sick of seeing men (mainly white men) portrayed as the enemy, I’m not buying what you’re selling!” Some people are saying that this ad was bound to happen and that Gillette was just brave enough to discuss the elephant in the room. Some claim that the company has just played themselves: “Gillette has just cut themselves with one of their own razors… Badly” claimed another reviewer.
Since this article is supposed to be pure facts, I will not spout out my opinion on the issue. However, I will say this: this discussion was bound to happen.
Other companies, such as Nike, have already discussed this issue. There were aspects of this ad that Gillette could have improved on. There were aspects that were amazing, but overlooked by the public.
As a whole, Gillette has made quite possibly their most viewed ad ever, and if Gillette’s goal was to inform the public of both the progress that we’ve made and the progress that we still have to make, they succeeded in a very big way. Whether that way be positive or negative is up to you, but we can all agree that we’ve made a lot of progress these past few years with these issues.
Originally Published in Bandersnatch Vol. 48 Issue 07 on January 30th, 2018