How brands can make lasting impressions

Gina Acosta
Managing Editor
Gina Acosta  profile picture
Gillette's new short film, called "We Believe," has sparked negative and positive reactions across social media.

A new ad from Gillette underscores the influence and power that strong consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands have not just in consumer’s lives but also in their personal identities.

Gillette, the razor brand from Procter & Gamble, has generated intense reactions (positive and negative) on social media after launching a new promotional campaign taking aim at "toxic masculinity." With the campaign, Gillette seems to be weighing in on the #MeToo movement, culture and politics.

“Gillette believes in the best in men,” said Gary Coombe, president of P&G Global Grooming. “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.”

In the two-minute advertisement, Gillette tells men to “say the right thing” and “act the right way.” The ad plays on the company’s slogan, "The best a man can get,” replacing it with, "The best men can be.” It portrays a montage of male bullying, harassment and sexist behavior and men stepping in to intervene to stop the behavior.

The campaign shows how CPG brands can have a tremendous influence on society, whether the reaction from consumers is negative or positive. It’s an example of a piece of creative work in the CPG industry that is engendering tremendous discussion and feedback from consumers. And that’s always the goal of any marketing plan, whether you are a national brand or a store brand. To wit, the ad has more than 14 million views on YouTube after only a couple of days of being online.

The campaign also offers lessons in what private brands can do when it comes to sparking conversation around timely topics that matter to consumers, whether the subject is sexism, body positivity or sustainability.

In addition to debuting the ad, Gillette is also donating $1 million per year for the next three years to non-profit organizations executing programs in the U.S. designed to help men of all ages achieve their personal “best.”

The ad seems to be a win for Gillette and a master class in marketing for CPG brands, no matter how many men promise to throw away their razors in protest.

More Blog Posts In This Series