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Gillette's new ad wasn't born of a phantom phenomenon nor was it created to 'patronise men' or 'pander to women'

“What a lot of politically correct garbage.”

ON SUNDAY, GILLETTE released a video that fell 12 seconds short of the two-minute mark.

PastedImage-80097 Source: YouTube

And in just one minute and 48 seconds, Gillette seemingly managed to alienate a staggering number of its core consumer group.

Why? Well, because the brand attempted to communicate the importance of challenging toxic masculinity from a young age -  a suggestion which countless men took exception to.

Using the #MeToo phenomenon as a backdrop, Gillette highlighted scenarios, including online bullying, the objectification of women and workplace harassment, and argued that these forms of conduct and behaviour need to be consigned to the annals of history.

Aware that there would be countless men waiting in the wings ready to shriek ‘#NotAllMen’ in response, Gillette acknowledged that this behaviour is not typical of their entire demographic, but if global reports are anything to go by, it applies to more than just a handful.

Reasonable, right? Well, not according to the backlash the ad has received in the 48 hours since it began circulating online.

It seems Gillette’s examination of their famous tagline ‘The Best A Man Can Get’ through the #MeToo lens has caused outrage among some men, who have called for a boycott of the brand.

Gillette’s message is clear; men have a responsibility to challenge the behaviour of their peers, and if needs be, turn a mirror inward and assess their own position in society.

We can’t hide from it, it’s been going on far too long. We can’t laugh it off; making the same old excuses, but something finally changed and there will be no going back because 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 because the boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow,” the ad concluded.

According to various online contributions, men feel patronised and insulted because, as they say, this message doesn’t apply to them.

But if it doesn’t; why the outrage? If you are one of the men which the video, directed by Kim Gehrig, has celebrated, then why the indignation and why the calls for a brand boycott?

Again for the cheap seats in the back:

Some [men] already are – in ways big and small – but some is not enough.

Navigating the last 24 months without encountering stories of sexual harassment, misconduct and its far-reaching effects would have been virtually impossible, but it seems those calling for a brand boycott have managed to do so.

The message behind this ad was not born of a phantom phenomenon nor was it created to pander to women or patronise men; it was simply made to address issues affecting society as a whole.

Source: Gillette/YouTube

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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