Shame On Gillette For Shaming Men
Shame On Gillette For Shaming Men
Losing market share, Gillette, maker of all things razor, has decided that the best way to build market share is to shame their main customers: men. The Gillette company was founded in 1901 and is currently owned by Procter & Gamble.
Full disclosure here, in another lifetime, I was a marketing coordinator for a Procter & Gamble brand and my husband was District Manager for Health and Beauty Care in California. We met at the Annual Advertising Beach Blanket Bingo and are still pretty brand loyal three decades later. That being said, I despise virtue signaling as a brand strategy.
Here is the :30 advertisement in this dreadful case:
This makes my back teeth hurt. Gillette has taken a thirty year old tagline “The Best A Man Can Get” and flipped it “Is this the best a man can get?”. And, corporate P&G acknowledges this in a brand statement:
Thirty years ago, we launched our The Best A Man Can Get tagline.
Since then, it has been an aspirational statement, reflecting standards that many men strive to achieve.
But turn on the news today and it’s easy to believe that men are not at their best. Many find themselves at a crossroads, caught between the past and a new era of masculinity. While it is clear that changes are needed, where and how we can start to effect that change is less obvious for many. And when the changes needed seem so monumental, it can feel daunting to begin. So, let’s do it together.
It’s time we acknowledge that brands, like ours, play a role in influencing culture. And as a company that encourages men to be their best, we have a responsibility to make sure we are promoting positive, attainable, inclusive and healthy versions of what it means to be a man. With that in mind, we have spent the last few months taking a hard look at our past and coming communication and reflecting on the types of men and behaviors we want to celebrate. We’re inviting all men along this journey with us – to strive to be better, to make us better, and to help each other be better.
From today on, we pledge to actively challenge the stereotypes and expectations of what it means to be a man everywhere you see Gillette. In the ads we run, the images we publish to social media, the words we choose, and so much more.
As part of The Best Men Can Be campaign, Gillette is committing to donate $1 million per year for the next three years to non-profit organizations executing programs in the United States designed to inspire, educate and help men of all ages achieve their personal “best” and become role models for the next generation.
Our tagline needs to continue to inspire us all to be better every day, and to help create a new standard for boys to admire and for men to achieve… Because the boys of today are the men of tomorrow.
We’ve all got work to do. And it starts today.
Can you say virtue signalling? Sure you can. This is so bad, it would have to improve to be pathetic. “Turn on the news today and it’s easy to believe”? Yes, it’s easy to believe that a Hollywood system allowed some men to get away with bad behavior for decades because of the profit motive.
But, my dearest Procter & Gamble, that is not where most men live. Shame on P&G. Shame on Gillette. Here is a little blowback from the Wall Street Journal:
“The video is sad and depressing while putting ALL men in a bad light,” one Twitter user wrote. “Men aren’t just waking up to bad things that are going on. There have always been good men. Bad ones too, yes, but the same can be said about women.”
The new Gillette ad was meant to inspire positive behavior but spends too much time exposing the behavior that men have been criticized for, said Susan Cantor, chief executive of branding firm RedPeak. “Men are saying, we feel marginalized, criticized and accused rather than feeling inspired empowered and encouraged.”
On top of the American Psychological Association deeming toxic masculinity a disorder, this is just too much. Some men are bad. Some women are bad.
And “boys will be boys” is not an excuse for bad behavior. “Boys will be boys” can be what a mother tells herself when she catches her son jumping out of his bedroom window playing Airborne Ranger. Listen up Gillette/Procter & Gamble! Maybe that same little boy grew up to serve his country and not only jump out of planes, but aerially deliver vehicles.
Photo Credit: 82nd Airborne Sustainment Brigrade/189th Combat Support Sustainment Battalion/151st Rigger Company/Permission details
This image is a work of a U.S. military or Department of Defense employee, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain in the United States.
This. This is where most men and women in the United States live. They get up. They go to work. They love their family. There is so much there to celebrate. But, no the mental midgets at Grey Advertising, Gillette and Procter & Gamble decided to pile on.
Well, it’s past time to stand up and say “Hale No!” Men are great. Manly men are even better. This toxic culture scares me more than toxic masculinity or toxic femininity. Shame on everyone associated with this.