In the wake of the #MeToo campaign on Social Media, Gillette back in January 2019, released a controversial commercial titled ‘We Believe: The Best Men Can Be’ addressing ‘toxic masculinity’ by portraying instances of bullying, sexual harassment, violence, mistreatment of women by men and mansplaining in its 1:48 length short film.
The campaign created by Grey Advertising received mixed reactions on social media, many people congratulating Gillette for finally striking a conversation about how toxic behaviours are validated & accepted in society by saying ‘boys will be boys’ or ‘men will be men’, however, the majority of the audience did not take the campaign in its stride, accusing the brand of stereotyping men and thus sparking a #BoycottGilette campaign on Twitter.
The video on YouTube garnered 31,630,987 views with 799k likes and an outstanding 1.5 Million dislikes
If you check the most recent comments for the video, you can see users are still upset over the brands’ attempt to gain brownie points with Millenials by creating a CSR campaign of this nature
The brand’s post on twitter has received 30.9 million views, 50.1k comments, 229.7k retweets, 568.3k likes
While the short-film did get them outstanding views and sparked a lot of conversations on Social Media, most of it tipped towards the negative, irrespective of the channel.
While the Twitterratti seemed to have calmed down and have already forgotten this ad campaign, their video on YouTube still receives hate even 7 months down the line.
The reason why people seem to be so upset with Gillette is that they don’t want a company telling them how they should behave and treat people. Values like respecting one another, behaving like responsible citizens, treating women with respect and dignity, is inculcated at home by family and close friends, not by a company whose main agenda is to make money.
It’s definitely an expensive learning experience for Gillette because since the ad was released sales for Gillette products have substantially plunged.
According to Reuters, Procter & Gamble reported a net loss of about $5.24 billion, or $2.12 per share, for the quarter ended June 30, due to an $8 billion non-cash write-down of Gillette.
That being said, despite receiving so much negative feedback from social media, Gillette has still stuck to messaging ‘The best men can be’ and continues to create new thought-provoking campaigns that focus on men and their accomplishments.
So what were your views on Gillette’s ‘We Believe’ Ad Campaign, do you think it was well-intended or did you find the Ad offensive? Let us know in the comments below
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