Gillette, a personal grooming brand for men from P&G, has released a timely spot that questions the 'Men will be men' philosophy. The ad comes in the wake of the ongoing #MeToo movement.
The brand writes on its official Twitter page: "Boys will be boys"? Isn't it time we stopped excusing bad behavior? Re-think and take action by joining us at http://TheBestMenCanBe.org. #TheBestMenCanBe
The film is hinged on slivers of the past, present and future - a hint of the nostalgic 'The best a man can get' song at the beginning, the ongoing #MeToo movement around sexual harassment, and a forward looking action plan to help curb "toxic masculinity", as CNN's Heather Kelly (San Francisco technology editor for CNN Business) puts it, in her article on the ad.
In her piece, she quotes Pankaj Bhalla, Gillette's North America brand director about the ad and the reactions it has evoked from people: "We expected debate. Actually a discussion is necessary. If we don't discuss and don't talk about it, I don't think real change will happen... The ad is not about toxic masculinity. It is about men taking more action every day to set the best example for the next generation. This was intended to simply say that the enemy for all of us is inaction."
As mentioned in the aforementioned tweet, the brand urges viewers to visit this website: https://gillette.com/en-us/the-best-men-can-be. To quote from the text on the homepage of this site:
"Thirty years ago, we launched our The Best A Man Can Get tagline.
Since then, it has been an aspirational statement, reflecting standards that many men strive to achieve.
But turn on the news today and it's easy to believe that men are not at their best. Many find themselves at a crossroads, caught between the past and a new era of masculinity. While it is clear that changes are needed, where and how we can start to effect that change is less obvious for many. And when the changes needed seem so monumental, it can feel daunting to begin. So, let's do it together.
It's time we acknowledge that brands, like ours, play a role in influencing culture. And as a company that encourages men to be their best, we have a responsibility to make sure we are promoting positive, attainable, inclusive and healthy versions of what it means to be a man. With that in mind, we have spent the last few months taking a hard look at our past and coming communication and reflecting on the types of men and behaviors we want to celebrate. We're inviting all men along this journey with us - to strive to be better, to make us better, and to help each other be better.
From today on, we pledge to actively challenge the stereotypes and expectations of what it means to be a man everywhere you see Gillette. In the ads we run, the images we publish to social media, the words we choose, and so much more.
As part of The Best Men Can Be campaign, Gillette is committing to donate $1 million per year for the next three years to non-profit organizations executing programs in the United States designed to inspire, educate and help men of all ages achieve their personal "best" and become role models for the next generation.
Our tagline needs to continue to inspire us all to be better every day, and to help create a new standard for boys to admire and for men to achieve... Because the boys of today are the men of tomorrow.
We've all got work to do. And it starts today.
Gillette. The Best A Man Can Get."
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