In the last of its commercials, Gillette has turned around the traditional advertising messages that it used and also the type of keys that it pressed. The ad, which was launched a couple of days ago in the United States, reflects on toxic masculinity and presents a different alternative.The US media, the first to cover it, talked about Gillette launching its #MeToo ad (which is mentioned in the longer version of the ad) and that, as noted on CNN , it was not an ad about shaving but rather on a new idea of masculinity. The ad quickly went viral and, of course, criticism of its content quickly appeared as well. “We expect debate. Really, a discussion is necessary. If we don’t argue and we don’t talk about it, I don’t think change will happen,” explained Pankaj Bhalla, the company’s North American brand director.The ad already has more negative than positive votes on YouTube (and an avalanche of linked comments) and is already leading calls for a boycott and (toxic) comments on social networks. “I read the reviews , ” pointing to Business Insider George Belch, chair in the department of marketing at San Diego State University. “There is no one making a really strong criticism about why they are offended by it. Maybe that tells you a little bit about the nature of the person who can be offended by it,” he adds. Belch is also clear on another point: the campaign, although aimed at a male audience, can resonate very well with women.Gillette’s campaign is not the first to challenge toxic masculinity and traditional ideas about how to sell men things. In fact, companies like Ax have previously launched campaigns that started from the same points, although they were not dragged into a viral situation similar to that of Gillette, with calls for a boycott.Perhaps, the campaigns were earlier in time and that modified how they were perceived. Or maybe Gillette simply managed to strike a chord.Commit to the endIn recent years, companies have been pushed into a new trend in which they have to take sides, they have to manifest their principles and they have to join causes.
It may seem cynical to point it out, but it is the reality: the market is forcing companies to commit to Hong Kong WhatsApp Number List something, to have their points of view and to share them clearly. Doing so, however, implies that those who disagree with you position themselves in an antagonistic way to the brand.The best example of all this is the ‘Nike case’ . The Nike ad starring Colin Kaepernick, the professional player who started the American football protest campaign (by getting on his knees when the anthem was played in protest against racism and police brutality) and thereby dragging on his career, had a very powerful echo … but also a brutal criticism.Nike was accused of everything that Kaepernick had been accused of (in short: traitor) and its products starred in viral critics and boycotts of all kinds.
Most notable were the videos of his sneakers being burned. Nike went public, but did not eliminate the campaign and did not try to please critics.It looked like a suicidal move but it really wasn’t. By standing her ground, she showed that she was serious and that she was truly committed to what she was saying. When it closed accounts after the controversy of the campaign, it had sold 10% of what it had registered the previous year.The complex truth of principled brandsNike had understood that it could not please everyone, but also that the consumers who burned its shoes were not the ones it really wanted to have, or that is what we could conclude from what happened and from what the market is marking.
As they explain in a Mintel analysis, “the most common attitude among brands today is toward a willingness to lose consumers whose ethics are not aligned with theirs.” That is, brands have values, defend them and assume that they will lose a part of their potential consumers in the general public (but they will stay with those who connect with it).The movement is like a kind of natural reaction to what happens in the market and what consumers expect. Since they increasingly demand that brands be clear in what they believe in “ethical” and “moral” terms but also in how they behave, hoping, they remind Mintel that these principles are like theirs, companies do not there is no choice but to manifest. Once they do, they have to go with those principles all the way.