Gillette has divided the internet with a new ad that conveys a shift in the razor brand's ethos.
After years of reflecting traditional (read: toxic) masculine values, Gillette is now trying to encourage its customers to be more thoughtful, compassionate and responsible versions of themselves — more in line with what should be expected of men in the post-#MeToo era.
Of course, Piers Morgan was one of the first people to get upset:
While Gillette ads in previous years have affirmed that their razor is the “best a man can get”, their latest instead asks, “Bullying, the MeToo movement, toxic masculinity... is this the best a man can get?”
And far from just featuring a series of close-up shots of the various stages of shaving, the ad focuses on the ways in which men are taught that it’s acceptable for them to act violently and disrespect women. But it also shines the light on how men try to challenge the toxic masculinity they see around them.
So, why are the ad’s viewers so upset?
Gillette tries to encapsulate its message in a voiceover, “We believe in the best in men… to say the right thing, to act the right way, some already are in ways big and small. But some is not enough. Because the boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow.”
And the fact that the message has provoked a boycott instead of reflection underlines both how difficult —and how necessary — the task of challenging gender norms is.