Gillette flips the script after failed 'toxic masculinity' ads

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Famous razor brand Gillette is under fire due to its act of "shifting the spotlight from social issues to local heroes" after releasing an ad that is different from the ones they've recently put up these days. In other words, they will focus on masculinity again instead of shaming the male population like their previous toxic masculinity ad campaign that reportedly lost revenue for them.


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The new ad is starred by Australian firefighter and personal trainer Ben Ziekenheiner, and this was launched a week ago. The razor focuses on the brand's SkinGuard range, which highlights the issue of sensitive skin for men who need to shave every day. Firefighters are required to be clean-shaven in order for their breathing masks to be properly sealed.

Manu Airan, the brand's associate director for Gillette Australia and New Zealand points out that this is a clear strategy that all comes down to how they [Gillette] authentically connect with their consumers. He continues  “We will continue to talk about what is important to Gillette and that is representing men at their best and helping men do their best. That is not changing. We will continue to do that and demonstrate it in different ways.” 

While Airan comments on the reduction of shaving frequency, he believes it is an opportunity. He stated that their sales have increased due to the innovation they bring, their bottom line being "Get woke, go broke."

This isn't the first time Gillette found itself in the limelight. Just last January, they've sparked an online firestorm with threats of being boycotted due to an ad about the #MeToo movement that challenges men to "shave their toxic masculinity". The ad depicts scenes of men who were in the act of bullying and catcalling women with the intention of asking them if this [such acts] is the best a man can get. 

Another ad, the "We Believe" ad, was labeled as an attack on men while others praised the brand for sparking up a conversation. This May, they continued with the inspiring ad where a father teaches his transgender son how to shave for the first time. 

It is obvious that Gillette is delving into social issues. The company responded to one Facebook comment, saying that they believe "believe brands play a role in influencing culture and have a responsibility to use their voice for good.”

Airan repeats that they will continue to represent men at their best, this includes shifting the topic from toxic masculinity to local heroes. It is, as he says, Gillette's purpose, one that they've done consistently for the past 118 years and it will not change any time soon.

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