Gillette has just dropped “We Believe”, its biggest advertising shift of this generation and a clear take on belief-driven marketing. The Best a Man Can be is a campaign from Grey, tackling bullying, sexism and #MeToo — laying responsibility on men to be better.
I grew up an 80’s baby, so for me, the hook of Gillettes’ The Best a Man Can Get went hand in hand with my first razor, first shave, and to this day is present in my wash bag. The iconic brand launched the original tag back in 1989 at the Superbowl, and it’s fair to say the world has changed a bit since then.
The perception of what a man was and now is, has changed. Communicating this to a new generation of men, in a different society, in a new era of masculinity was always going to be complicated, but at least they are giving it a go…
In the advert, one man stops his friend from harassing a woman in the street “is this the best a man can get?” a voiceover asks, with a story-based narrative advert flowing from old razor ads, news footage showcasing some of the issues the world is facing and laced with social clips including Terry Crews a sexual assault victim and former pitchman for Gillette’s Procter & Gamble Co saying “men need to hold other men accountable”.
The advert encourages men to act with more respect and to set a positive example to young boys
The advert encourages men to act with more respect and set a positive example to young boys. Ultimately, the ad is calling for men to change how men see themselves. Essentially, the message of “We Believe” introduces a new version of the tagline “The Best Men Can Be” — asking men to re-look at what it means to be the best they can be in today’s world.
Now, it’s a step in the right direction and it will be interesting to see how Gillette backs up their bold statement with action. The ad does dovetail with the launch of TheBestMenCanBe.org, a new site that will provide more detail about Gillette’s stance, which will be backed by a commitment to donate at least $1 million annually over the next three years to organisations designed to help men of all ages “achieve their personal best”. Boys & Girls Clubs of America is the initial recipient.
“By holding each other accountable, eliminating excuses for bad behavior, and supporting a new generation working toward their personal ‘best’, we can help create positive change that will matter for years to come,” announced Gary Coombe, President at P&G Global Grooming, inside a press release.
Gillette took a risk with this ad, it’s a bold stance that highlights a tough conversation — arguably one that needs to be had. As expected, with such a bold statement there will always be an equally as bold opposing view. Piers Morgan leading the fleet of haters, took straight to Twitter to give his view after watching the ad. So far the ad has received an outstanding 267k dislikes with just 43k likes… I for one will be keeping a close eye to see how far the backlash travels.
When Nike dropped their Colin Kaepernick ad there was a lot of negative feedback, but it did result in higher sales for the brand that quarter.
Personally, I’m thrilled to see a brand of this size stepping up and making a statement. By recognising their ability to influence culture, Gilette have taken on the mission to help make the world a better place. But, change doesn’t happen overnight and I’m keen to see how much of this is advertising vs action.
My fingers are crossed that this is also more than just a positioning exercise and it can effect real action and inspire a generation of men to be their best. It will be interesting to see if they put more than just their money where their mouth is. I’ve been working with Gillette on an upcoming campaign with Joshua Coombes of Do Something for Nothing, which launched this week in partnership with men's magazine GQ, check out the story here and will keep you updated on how this partnership evolves.
I’d love to know your thoughts, what do you think of the campaign?