Gillette have historically always been “the best a man can get” (can you read that without caterwauling the jingle? I can’t!) but it’s all change in their brand new ad campaign. “The best men can be” is their new, recalibrated tagline in the commercial that everyone is talking about. Playing catch up? Here you go….
The culture of toxic masculinity is the theme – harassment, sexism, bullying, excusing bad behaviour as “just banter”. Needless to say, lots of men have got their boxer shorts in a twist about it and declared a boycott on Gillette products (God, does that mean even more hipster beards sprouting up?). At time of writing the ad has 10 times more dislikes on YouTube than likes, and the comments under the video make for pretty depressing reading.
I’m not sure why there’s such an outcry – isn’t it a good thing to show men behaving well, being allies to women and modelling good behaviour to their sons? After all, so many ads depict them as dimwits, barely tolerated by the women in their lives. And we all know loads of Good Guys like the ones shown here.
But at the same time even as a woman, I feel there’s a slight whiff of worthiness about it. While Gillette are brave to stick their necks out and make their point, is it ultimately more appealing to women than to men, ie their actual customer base?
I would love to know what you think? And the menfolk of all ages in your lives. Let me know in the comment box below.