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Close shave

Have you seen the new Gillette ad? Lots of men are getting their boxer shorts in a twist about it and binning their razors in a rage.

Gillette have historically always been “the best a man can get” (can you read that without caterwauling the jingle? I can’t!) but it’s all change in their brand new ad campaign. “The best men can be” is their new, recalibrated tagline in the commercial that everyone is talking about. Playing catch up? Here you go….

The culture of toxic masculinity is the theme – harassment, sexism, bullying, excusing bad behaviour as “just banter”. Needless to say, lots of men have got their boxer shorts in a twist about it and declared a boycott on Gillette products (God, does that mean even more hipster beards sprouting up?). At time of writing the ad has 10 times more dislikes on YouTube than likes, and the comments under the video make for pretty depressing reading.

I’m not sure why there’s such an outcry – isn’t it a good thing to show men behaving well, being allies to women and modelling good behaviour to their sons? After all, so many ads depict them as dimwits, barely tolerated by the women in their lives. And we all know loads of Good Guys like the ones shown here.

But at the same time even as a woman, I feel there’s a slight whiff of worthiness about it. While Gillette are brave to stick their necks out and make their point, is it ultimately more appealing to women than to men, ie their actual customer base?

I would love to know what you think? And the menfolk of all ages in your lives. Let me know in the comment box below.


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7 comments on “Close shave”

  • Gail January 22, 2019

    Great intentions by Gillette. But what I hear back from men often is ‘but we are not all like that’, whether its about #metoo or Gillette.

    I think the backlash is because, in the first half of the ad, they feel as though all men are accused of this poor behaviour, when of course they do not all behave like that

  • Pat Ogden January 17, 2019

    I think this is a very good ad from Gillette – and agree with the comment above that some TV ads show men as dimwits which is not funny or clever. The message from Gillette is a very good one – and my husband agrees!!! I find it fascinating to see my young grandson watching his Daddy and also both his grandfathers and I hope that he will grow up to be as fantastic a man as they all are. Well done Gillette!!

  • Sue January 17, 2019

    The film generalises way too heavily about men. However, I do think there’s a grain of truth in it about the way that some (now middle-aged or older) men have treated women. And for male/female relationships to be all that they can be, this should change. I wonder how many women ever wanted the ‘he-man’ type of guy in the first place? Did that come from men themselves, or is it innate? Big questions . . .

  • Lorna Nichol January 17, 2019

    I love it , not just about men but had me thinking about women nd our daughters too- well done Gillette.

  • Andy January 15, 2019

    Thought provoking and whilst initially it looks sexist it does hold a powerful message and good on them for taking the plunge to take a different aspect on advertising.
    That is a brave Graphic Designer to pitch to a Team who have obviously thought it through in order to publish.
    It has provoked media attention so it will be interesting to hear what it has done for sales!

  • Barbara Pavey January 15, 2019

    A breath of fresh air – I like it. About time.

  • Jo Furness January 15, 2019

    Excellent – in my view – good for Gillette! One is so tired of this ‘Boys will be Boys’ culture – a gentle man is no less of a man – in fact more so!


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