Gillette flips iconic tagline in new ad campaign challenging ‘toxic masculinity’

on Jan16

15 January 2019 | 8:03 pm

Procter & Gamble’s Gillette razor brand is urging men to stand up to “toxic masculinity” in a new ad campaign — but not without backlash.

Similar to P&G’s hit #LikeAGirl campaign, the latest ad puts a new twist on the iconic brand’s “The best a man can get” tagline.

The new campaign, called “We Believe,” is P&G’s latest foray into brand messaging that incorporates a social message to reach consumers in a more meaningful way.

In a nearly 2-minute digital spot, the ad depicts several anxious-looking men presumably looking in the mirror and listening to news about bullying, the #MeToo movement and sexual harassment.

A voiceover asks: “Is this the best a man can get? Is it?” The ad goes on to challenge “Boys will be boys” as an excuse for several forms of boorish behavior and depicts subtle ways to intervene. The voiceover then acknowledges men who uphold higher standards — notably with clips from viral videos — but then takes a stance: “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.”

The ad comes amid the #MeToo movement that erupted in 2017 in the wake of several sexual harassment and other scandals. But while some have praised its message, other’s have criticized Gillette’s marketing “anti-male,” going as far as to call for a boycott.

“Best best a man can get” was first introduced three decades ago, according to a press release. The rollout of the “We Believe” ad is part of a larger campaign that includes $3 million in charitable donations over three years. The donation, in partnership with The Boys & Girls Clubs of America, is intended to develop national programs that encourage men and boys to be more inclusive, accountable and admirable.

“Gillette believes in the best in men,” said Gary Coombe, president, P&G Global Grooming. “By holding each other accountable, eliminating excuses for bad behavior, and supporting a new generation working toward their personal ‘best,’ we can help create positive change that will matter for years to come.”

The razor brand campaign will continue to unfold at and on its social channels, where it has asked fans to share their stories.

Over the past five years, P&G has gradually moved more into more ads with social messaging after the runaway success of the 2014 #LikeAGirl campaign for its Always panty liners brand.

Since then, P&G has challenged social attitudes in multiple campaigns, including racial bias in 2017’s ‘The Talk.’

Read more at USA Today.

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