Gillette sparks social media storm with “Best a Man Can Be” ad

Jan 16, 2019 | CPG, Social media

Gillette has courted both controversy and praise for its latest ad, a short film, called Believe, which shows images of bullying, sexual harassment and aggressive male behaviour.

The razor company is facing boycott threats over the ad, inspired by the #MeToo movement which encourages men to end “toxic masculinity”.

The video ad asks “Is this the best a man can get?” – a play on its famous slogan – and shows images of bullying, sexual harassment and aggressive male behaviour.

After featuring clips of news coverage of sexual harassment cases, the advert then highlights examples of men stepping into stop others behaving inappropriately.

It has prompted fierce criticism online, with some viewers accusing Gillette of branding men “evil” and calling for a boycott of the firm’s products.

The advert has been viewed more than three million times on YouTube since being posted on Sunday, attracting more than 275,000 dislikes and 48,000 likes.

One person on Twitter said: “Time to realise 250,000 people don’t want to be told how to act by their razor manufacturer.”

Other viewers have praised Gillette – which is owned by Procter & Gamble – for highlighting problems with sexual harassment and bullying.

Gillette said it had a ‘responsibility’ to promote positive behaviour.

High-profile figures have poked fun at the controversy.

Comedian Ricky Gervais joked: “I’m never shaving my legs again,” before adding: “Stop getting angry at advertisers. That’s exactly what they want.”

In a statement explaining its advertising campaign, Gillette said many men “find themselves at a crossroads, caught between the past and a new era of masculinity”.

The company added it has a “responsibility to make sure we are promoting positive, attainable, inclusive and healthy versions of what it means to be a man”.

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