Gillette's "The Best Men Can Be" Ad: Is That the Best YOU Can Do, Gillette? Razors Have No Place in the #Metoo Movement! by Dawn Taylor

Headlines Opinion
2 months ago

Gillette and its recent ad that addresses toxic masculinity and doing the right thing has stirred up controversy – and in my opinion, missed the mark. I am all for the message that people should be kind, respectful and decent. However, this applies to all people. By singling out men and basically saying, “get it together guys,” Gillette has insulted the target of their advertising. 

Who does Gillette think it is, telling men to be better men? A razor company has no place using its advertising as a platform in this way. Gillette released a statement after all of the backlash, implying the intent was to start a conversation and that they succeeded in doing so. I call BS. 

Gillette tried to grab on to a movement (#metoo) and use it to try and sell razors. Instead, the brand has pissed off scores of men who are trashing their Gillette products (literally) and many women who are equally appalled by such a misguided advertising campaign. 

Gillette, you screwed up. Instead of using your ads to manipulate and condescend to potential consumers, why not donate a dollar for each razor you sell to victims' groups? That is, if anyone is still buying.

What do YOU think? Share your thoughts below. 

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Mike Prochaska
I disagree! I am proud gilettee is taking a stand on something. We done a lot with my dads group Andydove man care and I love how they helping change the norms of men and society. What everyone else think?
Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds
Mike Prochaska I think it's great that you are working with Dove Men Care and other brands that want to make a stand and help us move forward with equality.
Dawn Taylor
I guess when a brand aligns itself with a stand, it seems ingenuine, and because they can profit (or not) it also seems a little unethical. I AGREE with any sentiment that supports treating women and ALL people better, I just don't think it has a place with companies that can profit somehow. And I dislike that it really is targeting men, but I respect your feelings completely.
Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds
This is so interesting. On the one hand, I think anything that draws attention to #metoo and toxic masculinity is a good thing. On the other hand, could Gillette have done a better job with this? Yes. But at the end of the day, I have to say it's nice to see a men's brand trying to show that it supports the fact that men have to do better and we are not going back. Thank you for this food for thought, and for sharing your perspective, Dawn Taylor !
Dawn Taylor
Yes, we need the attention but I think for me it is just the marketing of this seems wrong, it just makes me uneasy- I think when a brand speaks for a cause, they cannot assure us that all of their employees and marketing staff are onboard, and it becomes sketchy ground.
Dawn Taylor
Mike Prochaska and Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds i think that’s the issue is that when profit can be made the message can be unreliable and questionable at best
Keith Sereduck
You could tell they were doing it to be relevant because they've lost such a share of the market. That said, I don't agree that toxic masculinity is even a thing. Toxic people yes. There have been just as many cases of women and young girls bullying their friends or boyfriends to suicide. Toxic people come from all walks of life. Focusing on men does the mesage a disservice because it's no better than the bullying it's trying to point out.
Dawn Taylor
Interesting perspective and that is precisely why I dislike brands taking a stand- it can backfire like it seems to have, and piss off people who like me disagree with the tactic, and like you who simply disagree with the message. I prefer brands to just sell their products and if they want to make a difference, just donate profits to different causes like other companies do. Shaky ground for sure.
Keith Sereduck
Couldn't agree more.
Ron Howard
Thank you for asking for my opinion and input. I really appreciate it. I just watched the commercial for the first time here. I don't have regular tv so I don't see many commercials anymore. Personally, I found the ad to be very inspiring. I saw, in that commercial, what I am teaching my son and daughter and my students. I found it to be very refreshing. I honestly don't see how anyone would have a problem with advocating that men begin behaving like real men. With half the country clinging to the coat tails of a sexual predator that somehow got elected to the highest office in the land, I think that there is a simultaneous awaking going on to counter that negativity. I think the good of this awakening far outweighs the bad. Seeing men doing the right thing and teaching boys to do the right thing is long overdue. Much of Wyoming is lacking the sophistication of treating others with respect and equality. Believe it or not, our state's motto is "The Equality State" but you wouldn't know it if you were here. On the list of the most equality minded states in the Union, Wyoming ranks at 37. New Hampshire is #1 and Utah is #50. Wyoming should be much higher with a motto like that but we aren't. To treat others equally here is to be a libtard, which is what I get called almost everyday for advocating equality. Last week, I received two death threats for advocating equality. If someone ever carries through with their promise to do me in, at least I went knowing I was doing the right thing. I'll also haunt their asses if they kill me. I'm Arapaho and we know all about ghosts and spirits. Anyway, I think we need to see more commercials like this and we need to see more men stepping up to the plate to be the kinds of men shown in this ad.
Dawn Taylor
Thank you for such a wonderful response. I, too, agree that the message is wonderful, it is more the brand using it to sell razors. I have 2 sons and 2 daughters who are wonderful, passionate, respectful humans and I know that they know how to treat people, because that is how I raise them. I also know they will stand up for anyone being treated badly, I have seen them do this. I, myself, am a bit of an outcast where I live because I stand up for my beliefs to do the right thing, but I stand my ground each and every time. I also live in a conservative town and I am very liberal. I agree with the message 100% and will never not speak up for it and now will likely write a tip based on my thoughts on the message itself. I am not a fan of ads showing people how to be men, it seems to have backfired and while yes, it gets attention, it is not always the one they hope for, and in this case it seems more like backlash. Thank you so much for such a heartfelt and honest reply. I am with you on the issues.
Jennifer Young
I see everyone’s perspective.
Maybe the execution wasn’t I would have done, but I think something being said is a step in a better direction. Yea could they just donate. Sure, but maybe they are trying to get a message out too. So they profit, but in that they get someone to change. Progress. Progress is slow.
Sheri B Doyle
Dawn Taylor I get your feelings about them trying to make a profit off of a very sensitive situation. My feelings are that anytime a spotlight is put on these issues it is a good thing. I found the commercial to a great place to start. Yes women/girls bully as well and the benefit of the Gillette commercial is that it sparks that conversation as well. I don't begrudge them trying to make money, I would rather they push a positive agenda while making money than a negative one or none at all.
My belief is that we do need men to step up and be better, to be more involved and to take responsibility for what they are teaching/showing their sons. I believe women need to do the same. About 99% of the women I know have been sexually harassed by men. 1 of the men in my life have been sexually harassed and that was by a man. I am not saying women should not be held accountable for the negative actions, they should. Hopefully the Gillette commercial will inspire women focused companies to rise to the occasion as well.
Any voice speaking out is better than no one speaking out.
Thank you for starting this dialogue, it is through understanding that we all grow and our society evolves.
Rainey Niklawski
I think it was wonderful. I have a large amount of respect for a company who would use their leverage and reach to put out a message like this. I don't think it was intended to sell razors- if anything, the people "offended" by the message have decided to shop elsewhere. I think it opened a very necessary conversation and did so very tastefully. They didn't just highlight the problem, they threw out some SOLUTIONS to the issue (i.e. the dad stepping in with the kid being bullied while his son watched). I loved it.
Jeff Jackson
Imho, I didn't like it. I found it to be condescending, patronizing and irrelevant to shaving. I believe the actions mentioned are already being completed by the majority of men, not "some" men as the ad states. I further believe that the ad puts men (and some women, too, probably) in a damned if you like it (because of its tone and message) and damned if you don't because how can you not like or agree with the "metoo" movement? Yet, it also further widens the gap between non-feminists and feminists. One of the major issues with feminism (also imho) is that some people put men into the "all men" category as if we're sheep or non-thinking & not complex individuals. The actions of a few bad men shouldn't damn, condemn or taint all of us. That is also my view on "toxic masculinity". It is not a masculinity issue. It is a more complex than that. Men have come increasingly under fire with third-wave feminism and it's victim mentality. I believe in equality because people deserve it, not because anyone is a victim of perceived oppression. Hey, we've all been oppressed in one way, shape or form, some more than others, but if we're are a creative society (which I like to think we are) then we can find a way to help women and men, all races, all religions, etc. Men need help, too. Mental health, depression, suicide, increased incarceration rates, homicides, failing in school, etc. are all places that men need help. I guess it's a good thing to have a discussion like this. Time will tell. But, it is definitely not a good thing to condemn those that disagree with you. That is a big issue also as we become a nation of "tribes" depending on our views and shutting down those that don't agree with us. Ok, enough soapbox. Have a nice day everyone. Btw, I have never seen kids fighting and/or men harassing women as the commercial suggests in my 40+ years of working.
Noreen Braman
I have Jeff, been the victim of harassment and I know young fathers who still encourage their kids to fight with each other, belittle them if they cry - "be a man!" People I try to avoid, but sometimes can't.
Mindy Hudon, M.S., CCC-SLP
This is the first time I saw this ad. I agree with many of the comments. Many other companies use their marketing to send a message while still making a profit. For example Nike enspires women to be strong while selling shoes and clothes. I think Gillette is trying to do the same. At least this ad is bringing awareness that this is a major issue in our country and we need to have parents step up to the plate and provide positive models for our children. As a mother of two boys, my husband and I work hard to raise good people. Respectful and kind to everyone. That is my job as a parent! Not Gillette’s!
Jeff Jackson
Men:
- 1 in 4 men will be the victim of domestic violence.
- Men die an average of six years sooner, or younger, than women.
- A man dies by suicide every single minute.
- 75% of all suicides are men.
- Men are 1 ½ times more likely to die of heart disease and cancer than women.
- Men are 97% of combat fatalities.
- Men pay 97% of Alimony
- Men make 94% of work suicides.
- Men make up 93% of work fatalities.
- Men make up 81% of all war deaths.
- Men lose custody in 84% of divorces.
- 77% of homicide victims are men.
- 89% of men will be the victim of at least one violent crime.
- Men are 165% more likely to be convicted than women.
- Men get 63% longer sentences than women for the same crime.
- 75% of the homeless are men.
- Women's Cancers receive 15 times more funding than men's
- Women have been awarded more college degrees, from associates to doctorates, then men every year since 1987.

Let's stop all violence. Pointing the finger at men and telling them "your masculinity is a problem" is a stalemate solution.
Noreen Braman
not the first time a consumer product company has used a social issue in advertising - think about Dove's campaign about body shaming. And plenty have used "patriotic" images and language to sell all kinds of stuff. So, I have mixed feelings. They could have done a more subtle, uplifting production just showing positive images and examples. After all, I am a mother and grandmother to males and females, and want them all to be the best people they can be. However, I have to say, this was a far cry from Noxema's "Take It Off, Take It All Off," shaving commercial that I cringed at as a young girl.
Melinda Sharp
I support the commercial, if for no other reason than I have experienced many kinds of discrimination, harassment and being misjudged over many years of life by both men and women. And I am a survivor on all accounts. I love the commercial. I see it as support for all those in these situations and a great form of EDUCATION. We all need reminders of appropriate behavior and reinforcement of how to help when you see it happening.

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