A new campaign from razor brand Gillette which asks men to hold themselves and each other accountable for bad behaviour has sliced the internet in half.
From Grey and directed by Kim Gehrig the campaign was launched globally yesterday via the brand’s YouTube and Twitter.
— Gillette (@Gillette) January 14, 2019
The spot, titled ‘The Best Men Can Be’, falls back on a slogan it had used in previous campaigns, ‘Is this the best a man can get?’.
Already, criticism has been heaped on the spot, with everyone from journalists to media commentators voicing their opinion on the polarising campaign.
While professor Mark Ritson has slammed the campaign in an op-ed, claiming it “isn’t just a waste of ad budget but an expensive exercise in destroying its dominant market share.”
Adding the ad has a “preachy” tone.
Piers Morgan echoed Ritson’s sentiment in a tweet, claiming he would no longer use the brand.
I've used @Gillette razors my entire adult life but this absurd virtue-signalling PC guff may drive me away to a company less eager to fuel the current pathetic global assault on masculinity.
Let boys be damn boys.
Let men be damn men. https://t.co/Hm66OD5lA4
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 14, 2019
While public figures are scrutinizing the ad, Twitter users are praising the bravery of the Gillette.
The comments under the @Gillette toxic masculinity ad is a living document of how desperately society needs things like the Gillette toxic masculinity ad.
Seriously: if your masculinity is THAT threatened by an ad that says we should be nicer then you're doing masculinity wrong.
— Andrew P Street (@AndrewPStreet) January 15, 2019
Point of the ad: men aren’t inherently jerks and we can stand up to the assholes who give men a bad name.
People online: WhY aRe YoU sAyInG iM a BaD pErSoN??
It says a lot about the people who identified with the bullies in the ad and not the people standing up to them.
— eric (@ericmangun) January 15, 2019
— Emily Andras (@emtothea) January 15, 2019
Thank you @Gillette for reminding us that there can be no going back from how far we as a society have come in confronting the issue of bullying & harassment of others. Help us share this message about the importance of being an Upstander. #TheBestMenCanBe https://t.co/4HtjwHgFyk
— Tyler Clementi Foundation (@TylerClementi) January 15, 2019
— MFA Iceland 🇮🇸 (@MFAIceland) January 15, 2019
Although critics claim Gillette is simply latching onto a trending topic, the brand has vowed to donate $1m a year for three years to non-profit organisations with programs “designed to inspire, educate and help men of all ages achieve their personal ‘best’ and become role models for the next generation”.
On the Gillette website, the brand wrote: “It’s time we acknowledge that brands, like ours, play a role in influencing culture.
“From today on, we pledge to actively challenge the stereotypes and expectations of what it means to be a man everywhere you see Gillette.
“In the ads we run, the images we publish to social media, the words we choose, and so much more.”