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Gillette’s new ad isn’t about shaving. It’s about men in the age of #metoo

Gillette’s newest advertisement isn’t about shaving, or beards or personal hygiene.

The company’s “We Believe” ad – a one minute and 48 second spot posted to its social media accounts this week – addresses serious issues like toxic masculinity, sexual harassment and #metoo.

Gillette plays on its famous tagline and asks: “Is this the best a man can get?”

Reactions to the commercial have been mixed, and predictably extreme. Some offered praise for the progressive ad while others have threatened to boycott the razor company.

“We expected debate. Actually a discussion is necessary. If we don’t discuss and don’t talk about it, I don’t think real change will happen,” Pankaj Bhalla, Gillette’s North America brand director, told CNN Business.

He said he hopes men who watch the video will be inspired to act like role models and show younger children how to stand up to bad behavior and treat other people with respect.

Procter & Gamble, which owns Gillette, has made progressive advertising before.

The company has won accolades for advertisements such as its Always “Like a Girl” campaign and Pantene’s “Strong is Beautiful” campaign that shows NFL players braiding their daughter’s hair.

The Gillette “We Believe” includes a voice narrating over scenes of bullies, sexual harassment and masculinity.

“We can’t hide from it. Its been going on far too long. We cant laugh it off, making the same old excuses.” Then, in a direct reference to the #metoo movement, it says “Something has finally changed.” It closes with scenes of men breaking up fights, standing up for people, and being attentive fathers.

Gillette’s team consulted men across the country, conducted its own studies, and spoke to experts on masculinity, according to the company.

On YouTube and Twitter, the replies were flooded by people angry about the ad. Some men have said it was insulting, other said it was “feminist propaganda.”

Other people said the reactions to the ad proved why it was necessary in the first place.

“The ad is not about toxic masculinity. It is about men taking more action every day to set the best example for the next generation,” said Bhalla. “This was intended to simply say that the enemy for all of us is inaction.”

The company has more videos lined up as part of the larger branding effort, which includes donating $1 million a year for the next three years to organizations like the Boys & Girls Club of America.

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12 comments

    • Shabadoo Simmons

      awww triggered little snowflake…

      he’s sad because he doesn’t know how to talk to a lady like a human and only knows how to whistle at them and grab their a$$

      • Mac Woods

        I’ve been talking to you on this forum for years shabby. You are the one constantly making assumptions and preaching. I treat you like the fine lady you no doubt are in here. What makes you think I am incapable of treating you like a lady anywhere else?

  • Kevin Rahe

    Yes, too many men misbehave. But the problem is too many progressives don’t see it that way. Rather, they see being a man as an inherent problem. (And then there’s that white male thing.) But being masculine is not automatically misbehaving, any more than being feminine is automatically behaving. What men need to do is quit leading others in the wrong direction. Having power and choosing to avoid using it when it might be destructive is the kind of behavior society needs from men today. Not for men to try and be something else.

  • Kevin

    The premise of toxic masculinity is false. Nature inherently is not toxic, however some ideologies can be. Included in what is toxic is radical feminism. Not politically correct to say, so the media will not cover.
    Contrasts between toxic feminism and the wonderful traits natural to women will be on full display this weekend, however again the media will cover one side. The March For Life (Jan 18) is larger in volume and has more women in attendance than the Woman’s March (next day), but I’ll ask objective observers to compare the two. In the March for Life the signs will be of love and peace. The signs in the other will contain hatred and words that should be censored from children. Toxic males will participate in the Woman’s March, but true male role models will be in the other.

  • Dary Allen

    What’s next, parents taking their male children to a tattoo parlor and have “I apologize I was born” permanently inked on their forehead. Who are these nut jobs that are pushing this nonsense as if it is the norm?

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