Gillette - We Believe / Men of tomorrow (2019) 1:48 (USA) - Is advertising to men while being anti-men in general a wise strategy?

Like so many brands today, Gillette wants to fight for social change as much as shill their shaving gear. Let me state upfront, I am not their target market, though I did buy their razors, shaving gel and clear deodorant for years when I was in College simply because I liked them and I paid no "pink tax" on it. As they went mach-recording breaking crazy in their ads, so much that Clayton quipped "F*ckers keep this up, and I'm going Amish. ", I too deserted the brand for simpler shaves. Gillette was still the undisputed king of razors, but now in the dollar shaveclub era, they are beginning to feel the pinch as they lose market share to convenience. 

To reinvent themselves, Gillette has packed away their Large Hadron Collider-like toys touting their rolling heads and twenty-billion blades, and have now taken a page out of Dove's playbook. Hoping for a homerun manifesto film, like the Dove "onslaught" ad, but failing on a key point.

The "onslaught" ad shows the beauty-industry blaming itself, and encourages the punters to resist. The Gillette ad is basically telling their target market, men, that everything is their fault. 

The heart may be in the right place, they figured in the #MeToo era that they could shill some wares by attaching their old tagline to the current cause du jour. Instead of the best a man can get, they want to own the best men can be. While this strategy looks sound on paper, it predictably rubbed many the wrong way. It prescribes bullying to being a male-only problem. It shows men BBQ-ing on the weekend as something bad. It depicts the insanely normal dad-reaction of separating two tussling boys as a rare heroic act. They have edited in several annoying youtube talking heads reporting on sexual harassment and briefly land on Terry Crews, but don't dare to touch on the porn problem

In the end, they tie the manifesto ad up with a line about men of tomorrow. It's interesting that future men will be like my dad was. He didn't hold me up to the mirror and tell me to repeat "I'm strong", but he taught me how to use tools and fight dirty if anyone bullied me and he wasn't within earshot.

And as with many other brands who tried this route, woke can mean broke, when the people who buy your products disagree with being insulted. It may be a reflex "not all men" reaction, but as noted, Dove preached while sneering at their own industry while Gillette is sneering at their own customers. A few reactions from highly followed Twitter accounts show how divided reactions are. On youtube the like to dislike ratio currently stands at 287 likes to 3000 dislikes. Maybe attention will sell more razors? Only time will tell. 

Gentle reminder that Gillette is also the owner of Venus "Goddess" razors, who used to advertise to goddesses like this.







Gillette's own tweet announcing the ad is flooded with offended responses.


If I can find verified accounts that are positive to this ad, I will add them to this article. There are many positive reactions from non-celebrity personal accounts, seen here

Update! As promised from a verified account, I found this perspective: 

Ad agency: Grey 

Directed by: Kim Gehrig 

Production: Anonymous Content

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