The best a man can be

Gillette. There’s no going back.

January 2019

Written by Andrew Davies, Strategy & Planning Director at bigdog 

2 million views, 23,000 likes, 214,000 dislikes (as at 14.00 GMT 15/01/2019)

Gillette have certainly made an impact with their latest spot “We believe: the best men can be.” The video, which references a whole range of issues centred around ‘toxic masculinity’ seeks to encourage men to hold each other accountable for their actions. The resultant backlash has not only seen a huge amount of negative feedback on the video itself, but calls for men to boycott the Procter & Gamble owned Gillette.

I think the negative reaction is harsh… So long as Gillette don’t confuse what they say they’ll do, with actually doing what they say.

Power brands today are building their success on what they do, not what they say. Behaviours count for more than anything and they want us to judge them on those terms.

Fine. So let’s do that.

Gillette may have overreached by attempting to tackle so many issues in one message, and have diluted their endeavour in doing so, but the most important words in that whole video are ‘there’s no going back’. Being fast and loose with campaign slogans is one thing, but meaningless unless you act on your promises. Gillette have partnered with the ‘Building A Better Man project’, which seeks to reduce violent behaviour in men, and ‘The Boys and Girls Club of America’, which helps young men develop better social and communication skills. Let’s hold them accountable to the actions they take with their partners. Judge them on that.

There’s no going back.

I like the campaign. It is ambitious. It’s potentially much much more authentic than Kendall Jenner and that Pepsi episode.

And there is nothing wrong in teeing up your next generation of customers.

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