Gillette’s “We Believe” ad is inspirational not controversial. Gillette is the men’s and women’s safety razors brand responsible for the controversial ad trending across social media. To be clear, the ad responds to the #MeToo movement, sexual harassment and toxic masculinity. Further, the ad is a direct response to society’s changing preferences. Specifically, the ad reinforces the notion that brands must take a stance on broad reaching social issues to assure market relevance. * The ad runs under two minutes long.
- Gillette’s ad features recent news clips about the women’s rights movement and bullying.
- The ad depicts scenes of men bullying each other and catcalling women, etc.
- “Brand Activism” is a term that comes to mind…
- Gillette’s “We Believe” ad is inspirational not controversial.
#Metoo and Gillette’s ‘Toxic Masculinity’ Ad
The Gillette ad, and the backlash to it, illustrate the peculiarity of this time in American history. First, Gillette isn’t trying to promote a more gender-equal society as much as it is trying to sell something. This ad wasn’t made out of the goodness of the company’s heart; it was made because the company of course knew it would merit significant media coverage and boost sales — Jill Filipovic, CNN
If you’re on social media, you — more than likely — know about Gillette’s recent “We Believe” ad. Further, if you use social media, you are aware of the backlash to Gillette’s commercial. Why is the ad so controversial? Certainly, the answer is really very simple:
- The Gillette ad is controversial because it promotes equality.
The Gillette ad is controversial because it promotes equality. Furthermore, people who watch the ad and analyze it in its relevant context understand this. Moreover, and to a point made by Jill Filipovic, Gillette’s ad characterizes the peculiarity of this time in American history, meaning:
- brands know the days of hiding from social issues are far gone; brands looking to expand or support market relevance know social cause marketing is important. In fact …
Gillette, #Metoo and Brand Activism
While the Gillette ad is hardly a way to move gender equality forward, it is a marker of that movement. Companies don’t advertise on concepts they think will tank their brands. That’s why so many ads have been so sexist for so long: There was very little cost to misogyny in the service of capitalism. But thanks to significant feminist progress in recent years, that calculus is shifting (Jill Filipovic, CNN). In other words …
- The Gillette Ad is Inspirational NOT Controversial
To be sure, progress towards gender equality stokes fear and resentment among (some) beneficiaries of gender inequality, such as:
What is Toxic Masculinity?
Toxic masculinity refers to the socially-constructed attitudes that describe the masculine gender role.
Here are more resources for readers who want to learn more about Toxic Masculinity:
Let’s Talk About It
Gillette’s “We Believe” ad is inspirational not controversial. First of all, the ad responds to the #MeToo movement, sexual harassment and toxic masculinity. Additionally, the ad is a direct response to society’s changing preferences. Specifically, the ad reinforces the notion that brands must take a stance on broad reaching social issues to assure market relevance.