Gillette reaches those willing to listen with its “The Best Men Can Be” ad.
By Tiffany Bakthy
Photo by Gillette
On Jan. 14, 2019, Gillette, a men’s razor company, released its “The Best Men Can Be” ad. It is an almost two minute video about the stereotypes of toxic masculinity that the men of today should fight against. The message was clear. Gillette wanted men to teach boys how to be better through showcasing current controversial issues like the #MeToo movement among traditional gender constructs like bullying.
However, what seemed like an encouraging call to action came off as a hostile attack on men to some. Gillette received backlash for supposedly turning against their customers. There were many tweets of previous customers throwing away their Gillette products and switching to competitors.
Despite the concerning backlash, Gillette chose to support its message and did not waver. As the nation becomes more polarized in social justice issues alongside political warfare, nothing seems to be apolitical anymore. By not issuing an apology, Gillette sends a clear message that they are not in the wrong.
Sticking with their stance, Gillette establishes credibility as a brand that keeps true to its mission. This campaign had its position set on one side of a number of controversial issues. If Gillette were to waver, it would look suspicious. They were already losing those who did not like the message, so retracting their campaign would only lead to general distrust.
Rather than just trying to advertise their products in a usual way, Gillette focused on molding their brand to be something that keeps up with the times. The ad was not about shaving; it was about shaping a better tomorrow. The consumers of today are not looking for repetition of the same pitch that only looks to get them to buy products. They want to put their money in places that holds their values and generates a good feeling in the products they use in their daily lives.
Gillette is a stellar example of a brand that knows what tone it wants to set because they believe in it entirely. This creates trust and integrity, defining factors in what keeps the customers they want around. Gillette not only shows what “The Best Men Can Be,” but also what the best brands can be.
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