Gillette is best-known for making razors and shaving products. In fact, walk into 100 guys’ bathrooms and there’s a very good chance that you’ll find the brand present in about 85 percent of them, as, most of us, grew up using Gillette. But, thanks to a new commercial, could that be changing soon?
If you haven’t seen a new Gillette commercial, the brand that’s popular for giving guys the “best a man can get,” is suggesting something else — “the best men can be.” The ad tackles a lot of issues that have become more mainstream in the past few years, showing real and fictional examples of sexual abuse, catcalling and bullying. It has become a voice for the #MeToo movement, suggesting that the old adage “boys will be boys” is outdated, and shows examples of men standing up to former instances that were socially acceptable.
For those who haven’t yet seen the new Gillette commercial, take a look below. It offers a powerful message, but isn’t without plenty of controversy.
The commercial, which is a Super Bowl ad that was released three weeks prior to generate buzz, has already eclipsed 18.2 million views on YouTube — as of this publishing — which is something that a brand can only dream of. That said, the reactions to the video aren’t all great, which is what we’re breaking down below.
Why are people upset about the new Gillette commercial?
In short, it’s because a lot of guys feel like they’re being told how to act. The biggest argument from a lot of men on Twitter seems to be to let the boys be boys, saying that this behavior has been around since, well, forever, and that it’s not up to Gillette to decide if it should stop or not.
Here are some reactions from people on Twitter to give a sense of what a few opposed to the new advertisement are saying.
Real men boycott Gillette. I will never by a Gillette razor again.
— Burton Vigil (@Burton74939379) January 15, 2019
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 16, 2019
The only people applauding @Gillette are social justice warriors who believe the solution to all the world’s problems is for men to act less like men and more like women.
Well here’s a newsflash- women are also capable of bullying each other, harassing each other AND men!
— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) January 17, 2019
— Phil Braun (@playazball) January 17, 2019
— Kash Jackson (@KashJackson2018) January 17, 2019
Obviously, with everything, there will always be people who disagree with opinions. And, given the sensitive topic that this Gillette commercial tackles, it’s no surprise that some are upset.
Does the Gillette ad really make men feel insecure now?
Apparently, yes. While not everyone was unimpressed with the angle of the Gillette commercial and the direction it went in, it turns out that more men seem upset about this than other ads released. In this macho man mentality, guys have shown that they’re a little bit too insecure to handle this type of message, and think that it might attack them personally.
While it’s true that not every man engages in any or all of the bullying, sexually motivated behavior that the Gillette commercial presents, many guys are offended and feel targeted. And, like the reactions from Twitter above showed, there were plenty of reactions from social media that basically mocked any of the guys who feel insecure about the ad. Take a look below.
— Rachel Dashae (@RachelDashae) January 16, 2019
This should not need to be said, but for the younger, less experienced women about the place:
If a guy hates this #GilletteAd, don't date him. He's not worthy.
— Robyn D (@KoparaFallsKid) January 16, 2019
tbh the only men who complain about the #GilletteAd are the ones who need to hear it. And no I do not want to hear an argument to this. thank u next
— Coleen (@coleenmbuckley) January 16, 2019
If you're "outraged" over a commercial asking you to be a better person, you lost your manhood a long time ago #GilletteAd
— All-en on Dahlin!! (@Buffwagon819) January 16, 2019
Again, no one will ever agree on everything, but it’s interesting to see some attacking the men who do feel threatened. Both sides are going to believe what they want, which is why the Gillette commercial is most powerful — because it strikes a nerve and emotion with people, both good and bad.
What will the long-term impact of the Gillette commercial actually be?
That’s still to be determined, as the Gillette commercial is still so new that we don’t really know what the impact will ultimately be. However, the message is a powerful one that even shows a clip of a famous, male sexual abuse victim, actor Terry Crews, which should serve as a reminder that the bullying needs to stop.
Similar to a Nike ad last year that featured Colin Kaepernick, the Gillette commercial is striking a nerve with people, both good and bad. In Nike’s situation, the ad actually led to increased sales. And, according to Vox, the goal of Gillette was to simply make men feel more empowered rather than threatened.
Here’s what Pankaj Bhalla, Gillette’s brand director for North America had to say, per Vox.
Pankaj Bhalla, Gillette’s brand director for North America, responded to criticism of the ad, in the Journal, saying “This is an important conversation happening, and as a company that encourages men to be their best, we feel compelled to both address it and take action of our own. We are taking a realistic look at what’s happening today, and aiming to inspire change by acknowledging that the old saying ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ is not an excuse.”
Gillette hopes that “taking a realistic look at what’s happening today,” in the words of Bhalla, will help lead to new customers, while also keeping the ones they already have. So we’ll have to see if the strategy proves effective or ends up backfiring in the end.