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Why I applaud Gillette’s
#MeToo-inspired advert

back to Big Thinking arrow
BIG THINKING

Why I applaud Gillette’s
#MeToo-inspired advert

Vanella Jackson
Global CEO
Hall & Partners

LinkedIn Twitter Email

I want to congratulate Gillette’s effort in trying to do something for men... to have a go at giving men a voice among all the noise about women.

Gillette have always talked to men with a call-to-action of being the best you can be. ‘The best a man can get’ has been their distinctive asset for a very long time. Their intent with this ad is entirely on brand.

However, the problem with the ad is that I can see the brief showing. Gillette’s attempt to connect to the new movement from women is clumsy and transparent. In my mind the ad is a poor execution of an otherwise appropriate strategy.

 

The difficulty comes in the problem-solution structure. No one wants to see men behaving badly. It feels unfair. Particularly when the vast majority of men are wonderful, kind, loving human beings.

What we do want to see are the new role models for men. Men expressing tenderness, taking care and doing all the things men do so well. This is what men and women want.


What everyone needs are positive images and role models that make the newly emerging, desired behaviours more explicit


I do feel all the noise about women, while totally wonderful and inspiring, is also having a challenging impact on men. At Hall & Partners, many men we talk to say they don’t know how to respond. They’ve become ‘tiptoe men’, treading carefully around women for fear of upsetting them. None of us want this, surely?

The world is changing and what everyone needs are positive images and role models that make the newly emerging, desired behaviours more explicit. If we do this – as Mark Earls will tell us – these behaviours will be copied, and this is how we will accelerate the change we all want to see.

I want to applaud the brands that have an ambition to contribute positively to the way society is changing, by leading and shaping new behaviours. However, sadly in this instance, it's a case of right strategy, poor execution.

Nevertheless, I would urge Gillette to have the courage of their convictions and keep trying. In the wake of #MeToo, we need to see and hear more about how men can be the best they can be, so we can all play at our best.



 

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I want to congratulate Gillette’s effort in trying to do something for men... to have a go at giving men a voice among all the noise about women.

Gillette have always talked to men with a call-to-action of being the best you can be. ‘The best a man can get’ has been their distinctive asset for a very long time. Their intent with this ad is entirely on brand.

However, the problem with the ad is that I can see the brief showing. Gillette’s attempt to connect to the new movement from women is clumsy and transparent. In my mind the ad is a poor execution of an otherwise appropriate strategy.

The difficulty comes in the problem-solution structure. No one wants to see men behaving badly. It feels unfair. Particularly when the vast majority of men are wonderful, kind, loving human beings.

What we do want to see are the new role models for men. Men expressing tenderness, taking care and doing all the things men do so well. This is what men and women want.


What everyone needs are positive images and role models that make the newly emerging, desired behaviours more explicit


I do feel all the noise about women, while totally wonderful and inspiring, is also having a challenging impact on men. At Hall & Partners, many men we talk to say they don’t know how to respond. They’ve become ‘tiptoe men’, treading carefully around women for fear of upsetting them. None of us want this, surely?

The world is changing and what everyone needs are positive images and role models that make the newly emerging, desired behaviours more explicit. If we do this – as Mark Earls will tell us – these behaviours will be copied, and this is how we will accelerate the change we all want to see.

I want to applaud the brands that have an ambition to contribute positively to the way society is changing, by leading and shaping new behaviours. However, sadly in this instance, it's a case of right strategy, poor execution.

Nevertheless, I would urge Gillette to have the courage of their convictions and keep trying. In the wake of #MeToo, we need to see and hear more about how men can be the best they can be, so we can all play at our best.

Vanella Jackson
Global CEO
Hall & Partners

LinkedIn Twitter Email

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