Guess who is facing the
shame shave now? Gillette’s controversial ad that seeks to address ‘toxic masculinity’ has racked up millions of views, lots of praise but zillions of backlash. Watch it here. I think Gilette’s actual error is that they designed communication tactics without a proper branding strategy. Yes, the preachy tone annoys me but I’m not swayed by the Youtube dislikes and all the brouhaha. That’s always bound to happen when any brand takes a stance on such issues.
But the difference between people burning Nike shoes and people flushing Gilette razors is that Gilette is not going to really win any new customers with this. This type of positioning is very much what Nike likes to do; that’s part of their brand strategy. So it will continue to work for them. But Gilette is not known for this; that’s not been their strategy, and one ad (a tactic) is not enough. That surely will piss core customers off but it won’t really appeal to liberal demographics either because they would think it’s not authentic. Ask Pepsi. Same fuckery. You people never learn!
So dear Gilette, here’s my advice to you. If you mean business double down on this. Don’t apologize, don’t retreat, and don’t surrender. It will be worse if you chicken out, maybe not chicken, chicken is delicious. Just don’t back down, you hear. Rather, if you build a brand strategy on this and you stay consistent with it and stay patient through the storm of angry customers, you will make this work. For motivation, see Dove’s Beauty Campaign. This Rome won’t be built with a single ad. I will just ignore that lousy website. Come again because I’m sure this is not the best you can be.