It has been just under 36 hours since razor company Gillette released its ‘The Best Men Can Be’ ad, sparking outrage across the internet. With almost seven million views on Youtube plus an additional three million and counting on its Facebook page, while the world seems to be divided over the ‘politics’ surrounding the campaign, this simple grooming advertisement is a step in the right direction.
You wouldn’t think a simple product would cause such conversation on a saturated platform, but yet it has. Touching on cyber-bullying, the #MeToo movement and the now-controversial “Boy will be boys will be boys”, phrase, reactions have been mixed, but unfortunately has proven that selected people are still stuck in the ’90s. But did they actually watch all 97 seconds?
A quick scroll through the comments is alarming and while there is a fair share of positive feedback, both men and women are transgressing gender equality back 20 years.
One user said: “Imagine an ad for tampons criticising femininity and PMS, lecturing women about their bad behaviour stemming from that and telling them to step up and forsake their flawed biology, take responsibility and become all the better for it…”
Another (female) user said: “Tell the woman who conceived this marketing campaign she’s better off trying cooking lessons.”
Yes, there are generalisations that may offend some men within the campaign. But what is trying to be communicated is that rather criticising masculinity, Gillette is criticising ‘toxic masculinity’ – and that we should all (including women) be more accepting and tolerant. Did anyone else notice this campaign is not merely for selling razors, but in hope to raise funds for charity? This is a good start, but we still have a long way to go.