After years of reflecting traditional (read: toxic) masculine values, Gillette is now trying to encourage its customers to be more thoughtful, compassionate and responsible versions of themselves — more in line with what should be expected of men in the post-#MeToo era.
Of course, Piers Morgan was one of the first people to get upset:
I’ve used @Gillette razors my entire adult life but this absurd virtue-signalling PC guff may drive me away to a company less eager to fuel the current pathetic global assault on masculinity.
Let boys be damn boys.
Let men be damn men. https://t.co/Hm66OD5lA4
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 14, 2019
While Gillette ads in previous years have affirmed that their razor is the “best a man can get”, their latest instead asks, “Bullying, the MeToo movement, toxic masculinity… is this the best a man can get?”
And far from just featuring a series of close-up shots of the various stages of shaving, the ad focuses on the ways in which men are taught that it’s acceptable for them to act violently and disrespect women. But it also shines the light on how men try to challenge the toxic masculinity they see around them.
So, why are the ad’s viewers so upset?
— Ary (@ary31574363) January 15, 2019
@Gillette has made it clear they do not want the business of masculine men.
I will grant their wish.
I have used #Gillette razors since they sent me a free sample on my 18th birthday, and will no longer buy any of their products.
— Rule The Wasteland (@MongoAggression) January 14, 2019
Insulting most of your own customers by insinuating they’re all would-be sexual abusers & creeps has to be one of the most original marketing campaigns in decades. https://t.co/IIXzqEcn3u
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) January 14, 2019
Gillette tries to encapsulate its message in a voiceover, “We believe in the best in men… to say the right thing, to act the right way, some already are in ways big and small. But some is not enough. Because the boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow.”
And the fact that the message has provoked a boycott instead of reflection underlines both how difficult —and how necessary — the task of challenging gender norms is.
Fantastic ad and more of this is needed.
Also…seeing “men” boycott Gillette are proving the point of the ad. Way to NOT be the best man you can be, guys. https://t.co/Q4XPqt2NLw
— Cat Staggs ?️? (@CatStaggs) January 14, 2019
Imagine being offended by an ad telling you to be considerate of others and don’t assault women. #gillettead
— RJ “Down to Fiesta” Cua (@RJCua) January 15, 2019
For those who are upset & think @Gillette needs to just sell their razors & “not have an opinion,” the fact that you think that men should be responsible and respectful role models is an “opinion” and not a standard we should all have makes you a part of the problem #GilletteAd https://t.co/tILJ3lnK8X
— becky. (@beckitaboo) January 15, 2019
Must have done something pretty shady to be threatened by an ad that’s actually out to help you and stop toxic masculinity ie reduce male suicides as well as preventing the rise in sexual harassment #GilletteAd
— lex (@alexaclynch) January 15, 2019