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Gillette's New Ad Tackles "Toxic Masculinity" And Triggers Backlash

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When the #MeToo movement first came into prominence about a year and a half ago, no one could've predicted the impact it would have.

Not only did it create a shift in Hollywood's power dynamics, it inspired pivotal change in the way men and women all over the word approach the discourse about gender equality and sexual harassment.

Now, even brands like Gillette are overhauling their messages and taking part in the conversation surrounding toxic masculinity.

Gillette just released a new ad that questions the behavior of men in the #MeToo era, turning their 30-year-old tagline into a question that asks "Is this the best a man can get?"

Titled "We Believe," the nearly two-minute ad addresses bullying and other behaviors that are commonly associated with the mistreatment of females at work, at home, on the street. It also challenges men to hold each other accountable and to put an end to the "boys will be boys" excuse that's often given for unacceptable behavior.

"Gillette believes in the best in men," said Gary Coombe, president of Procter & Gamble Co."˜s global grooming division. "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."

You can watch the advertisement in the video below:

Gillette has received lots of praise for the ad's progressive message and for highlighting harmful behavior that we've come to accept as the norm. On the other hand, there are many social media users who are outraged and plan on boycotting the company because it is promoting "feminist propaganda."

Gillette North America's brand director Pankaj Bhalla explained to CNN that they were expecting this kind of response.

"We expected debate," Bhalla said. "Actually a discussion is necessary. If we don't discuss and don't talk about it, I don't think real change will happen."

Other social media users pointed out that this type of lashing out is exactly why this type of ad is needed.

The "We Believe" ad is part of Gillette's campaign to use its profit to donate $1 million annually to nonprofit organizations over the next three years. The Boys and Girls Club of America will be the first group to benefit from this initiative.

What do you think of the new Gillette ad?

Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.