Love it or hate it – Gillette, one of the manliest brands that sells on masculinity, has got people talking about their latest ad – a 30-second video clip with barely a razor in sight.
Playing on its 30-year-old tagline “The best men can get,” Gillette has said it will challenge the stereotypes and expectations of what it means to be a man. In the video, various men are seen stepping forward and putting a stop to bullying, sexual harassment, and fighting – behaviours that might have been excused as ‘boys being boys’ in the past.
Within a day of its release on Tuesday January 15, the ad’s already garnered 17.1 million views on Twitter, 9.6 million views on YouTube and another 90,000 views on Instagram. However, the reactions from netizens were polarising.
Many appreciated the brand for asking men to shave off toxic masculinity, and coming up with the campaign built around #MeToo Movement, talking about casual sexism, misogyny, sexual harassment and workplace harassment. For some, the ad questions the deeply patriarchal and sexist society that sees women as mere objects of subversion.
However, the ad also garlanded hundreds of thousands of downvotes and a tidal wave of negative comments from YouTube users.
A quick look at the video’s comments section sheds some light on exactly why some viewers think Gillette deserves a thumbs-down.
“Amazing how all the ‘toxic’ males in the ad are white.”
“This is insulting, politically motivated, quota-fulfilling, condescending liberal tripe. I will switch to a brand that actually sells razors and not propaganda.”
“Masculinity is BEAUTIFUL and to be celebrated, not criticised. Screw you, Gillette!”