Gillette Makes Waves With Controversial New Commercial

Gillette has a new take on 'Best a Man Can Get' in new ad that invokes #MeToo

"While Gillette has a chance to modify the campaign and recover if it admits a mistake and makes some modifications if it continues down the current path this campaign will be remembered as nothing short of an all-time marketing blunder", writes Forbes.

The razor brand's new advertisement references #MeToo, sexual harassment, and mansplaining, and shows instances of young boys bullying other boys, and asks, "Is this the best a man can get?' playing on the brand's tagline, 'The Best a Man Can Get". After the video ad debuted on Gillette's social media accounts, divided commentary erupted on social media. Then a man scolding another man who was making cat calls.

For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today. "Looks like it's @DollarShaveClub from now on". But the message is sound and reasonable - a call to action for men to do better, and if they are already, to be a little louder so their peers at the back can hear. A modern update to its tagline "The Best a Man Can Get", the company made a decision to challenge the very meaning of masculinity in 2019, creating a campaign in conjunction with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America titled "The Best Men Can Be". Is it? We can't hide from it. "When we as men, when we as a culture, realize some of the things that we say, some of the things that we do and some of the things that we allow to happen around us can be changed if we're willing to step up and in essence be real men".

And the common excuse: "Boys will be boys". "Is it?" says the narrator, over a vignette of questionable behaviour: women being treated like objects, workplace inequality and news of sexual harassment. It has been viewed more than 10 million times on YouTube, but has 5,74,000 "dislikes" and only 2,15,000 "likes" at the time of writing. "I glean from this that most men are dogs, that is simply not true", one person said.

Others commented on what it says when you get mad that someone told you not to bully or harass people.

Gillette says its commitment to redefining masculinity will include US$3 million in donations over three years to non-profit agencies in the USA working "to inspire, educate and help men of all ages achieve their personal "best" and become role models for the next generation".

The backlash comes as no surprise to Gillette.

Gillette's North American brand director Pankaj Bhalla said in a statement it was important to have this conversation.

"We expected debate. Actually a discussion is necessary".

A third added: "This ad has no bases in reality, and just joins in on an ineffective and misguided attack on manhood. For every negative reaction we've seen many positive reactions, people calling the effort courageous, timely, smart, and much-needed", they said.

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