Shaving brand Gillette has launched a new ad campaign in response to the #MeToo movement, urging men to hold themselves to a higher standard and step up when they see other men acting inappropriately.
The advert shows men behaving badly – fighting, bullying, objectifying women and talking over female colleagues – and follows with examples men encouraging each other to be better. The video changes the brand’s well-known slogan: “The best a man can get” to “The best men can be”.
The ad includes clips of people like Terry Crews, a former NFL player who testified in a senate ruling on sexual assault, as well as fathers raising their daughters and showing teenagers how to treat each other with respect.
Despite the progressive theme, people are divided about whether the advert is supportive of men or insulting their masculinity – and some are even calling for a boycott of the brand.
Women were quick to show their support.
And some men were pleased with how they’d been represented as well.
But others said they were so upset by the advert they wouldn’t be buying Gillette products again.
The overreaction seemed to be prove Gillette’s point though, as many pointed out.
The new campaign was directed by Kim Gehrig, the same advertising creative who made Sport England’s influential This Girl Can campaign in 2015.
Commenting on its new advert, Gillette told HuffPost UK: “Gillette first introduced its tagline ‘the best a man can get’ 30 years ago. Today, we’re saying that the ideals that this statement inspire still hold true – but there’s more we can do as a brand, and as a community of men, to live up to this ideal.
“As a brand that has been part of manhood for over a century we have a responsibility to influence culture and use our voice to champion positive male behaviours. This campaign encourages all men to strive to be the best versions of themselves everyday to set the right example for the next generation.
“We expected debate – discussion is necessary. For every negative reaction we’ve seen many positive reactions, people calling the effort courageous, timely, smart, and much-needed. At the end of the day, sparking conversation is what matters – this gets people to pay attention to the topic and encourages them to consider taking action to make a difference.”