COLUMN: Gillette ad encourages users to be the best they can be


The Gillette Mach3 Razor and disposable blades offer a smooth, no-hassle shave.  Tribune News Service

Gillette, a brand known for its men’s razors, recently released a rather controversial ad showing the importance of raising little boys to be the best version of themselves. 

Overall, I think the ad portrayed a positive message, and if it was my young son watching it, I'd be glad to send him that message.

In the short video, it uses its very well-known marketing phrase “the best a man can get,” but they use it to question if the men in our society are really becoming the best men they can be.  

The video addresses bullying, sexual harassment, toxic masculinity and the phenomenon of being a caring human being. People, seemingly men in particular, are upset about this and see it as a potential attack on men. 

Others see it as promoting neoliberalism. Many people say Gillette should stick to just selling razors because, let’s be honest, there’s no way a company could sell razors and also care about societal issues, right?

In response to it being an attack on men, there is an attack against women everyday in our society. So if this video is what it's like to be a male and be attacked, it's nothing compared to what some women endure on the streets and on social media any day. 

Also, it's worth noting that there have been multiple campaigns and ads that are directed at women being their best version of themselves. This is not new. Some men just aren’t used to an ad that doesn’t use sex appeal or humor. 

The video is not telling you to quit being manly. It is not telling you to change anything about the good things that make you, you. What it’s doing is encouraging men to embrace their compassionate side and to be good influences on the younger generation who is looking up to them. 

It emphasizes improving not only the future for women, but also changing the future for men so they have more of an opportunity to be unapologetically themselves. 

The argument has been made that women are abusers and bullies, too, but no one said that every single man is a bully or an abuser. It literally shows in the ad multiple different men who intervene and are seemingly the heroes. If that is already you, then the ad was not made for you. 

We ask for big companies and businesses to take action on issues and use their power for good, but when they do, we question their legitimacy. 

Now, there's no way to tell if Gillette created this commercial because they wanted to be seen as progressive and get some good press out there, but I’m not going to sit here and rack my brain wondering what exactly their intentions were.

They took a big risk by releasing this video, and if there was evidence to support that they don’t actually care, then we could question them. The fact of the matter is, right now, it's enjoyable to see companies create things like this to address very important issues in our country, whether they be political or not. 

Had the ad used clips of President Trump or mentioned a certain political standpoint in the ad then maybe, just maybe, it would be understandable why some people would be upset for it being the opposite of their political view. However, the ad doesn't seem to have anything to do with politics. 

Gillette knew who their target audience was, and they used their business and their power to create a powerful video that hopefully  resonated with a majority of their audience. 

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