Thirty years ago Gillette, the razor brand, created the tagline ‘The Best a Man Can Get.’
Now, the Proctor & Gamble company, in business for 117 years, has taken that line and created an ad campaign that is being heralded and lauded but also condemned by some, especially men, who complain that its message is “social justice stupidity.”
The ad, in the 8 hours it’s been out, has more than a million views on Twitter alone.
“Is this the best? Is it? We can’t hide from it. It’s been going on far too long,” the voiceover is heard as soundbites from the #MeToo movement accompany images depicting bullying and sexual harassment.
It’s a message about what it means to be a man, masculinity and rejecting the ‘boys will be boys’ mentality. And some men are just not having it.
“I am taking action. I’m researching every product made by Proctor & Gamble, throwing any I have in the trash, and never buying any of them again until everyone involved in this ad from top to bottom is fired and the company issues a public apology,” says Twitter user ‘Joe,’ about the 1-minute and 49-second ad.
And though there were those and similar comments from some men, most praised the company for its “bravery.” And there were plenty of shots fired at the men who are complaining.
“Imagine being so insecure in your own masculinity that a razor company makes you cower into a ball of rage because they advocate for treating other men and women with respect. The idea of gender equality and personal accountability terrifies the smallest men. Respect, Gillette.”
The ad has been seen by half a million people on YouTube.
The comments on YouTube are highly critical of the ad with 95,000-plus downvotes.
It’s a bit of a different story on Twitter where the views ticker keeps climbing and was at 1.8 million 9 hours after it was first posted at around 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 14.
“Love this. If there was ever any question as to how necessary the overall message is, read these comments and look at all the guilt oozing off these snowflakes. Well done.
With any luck, the sons of these insecure commentators will see this Gillette ad and finally receive the positive messaging their fathers are likely neglecting to deliver. A shaving cream and razor manufacturer is doing your parenting for you.”
But it’s more than a new advertisement, it’s a movement the company says
Gillette is pledging $3 million to non-profits that “designed to inspire, educate and help men of all ages achieve their personal ‘best’ and become role models for the next generation.”
“Thirty years ago, we launched our The Best A Man Can Get tagline.
Since then, it has been an aspirational statement, reflecting standards that many men strive to achieve.
But turn on the news today and it’s easy to believe that men are not at their best. Many find themselves at a crossroads, caught between the past and a new era of masculinity. While it is clear that changes are needed, where and how we can start to effect that change is less obvious for many. And when the changes needed seem so monumental, it can feel daunting to begin. So, let’s do it together.
It’s time we acknowledge that brands, like ours, play a role in influencing culture. And as a company that encourages men to be their best, we have a responsibility to make sure we are promoting positive, attainable, inclusive and healthy versions of what it means to be a man. With that in mind, we have spent the last few months taking a hard look at our past and coming communication and reflecting on the types of men and behaviors we want to celebrate. We’re inviting all men along this journey with us – to strive to be better, to make us better, and to help each other be better.
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.
As part of The Best Men Can Be campaign, Gillette is committing to donate $1 million per year for the next three years to non-profit organizations executing programs in the United States designed to inspire, educate and help men of all ages achieve their personal “best” and become role models for the next generation.
Our tagline needs to continue to inspire us all to be better every day, and to help create a new standard for boys to admire and for men to achieve… Because the boys of today are the men of tomorrow.
We’ve all got work to do. And it starts today.
Gillette. The Best A Man Can Get.
“You know, I was never super big on Gillette, but now I am HAPPILY throwing all my support behind y’all. Thank you for being willing to make this statement in a time when it has never been more needed.”