The Power of Brands Who Pick Sides
You’re either with them or against them, and that’s the whole point. When a brand shows what’s expected of the people it draws a line in the sand to which the audience (consumers) can decide where to stand.
The recent Gillette advert has gone viral on social media as it addressed the “Boys will be boys, and men will be men” catchphrase.
“Boys will be boys”? Isn’t it time we stopped excusing bad behavior? Re-think and take action by joining us at https://t.co/giHuGDEvlT. #TheBestMenCanBe pic.twitter.com/hhBL1XjFVo
— Gillette (@Gillette) January 14, 2019
They updated their slogan ‘The best a man can get’ to ‘Be the best a man can be’. It caused people to talk about their own behaviour and the lessons that parents and leaders are teaching the next generation.
Of course, there were plenty of people who didn’t like that they were being told how to live. They may not have realized that the ad was directed at them in the hopes they might listen.
If you watched the ad, agreed, and shared, then it’s for you too. It has united people into a conversation.
The majority of comments were from trolls like Piers Morgan (sigh) who said, “…just let men be men.”
I’ve used @Gillette razors my entire adult life but this absurd virtue-signalling PC guff may drive me away to a company less eager to fuel the current pathetic global assault on masculinity.
Let boys be damn boys.
Let men be damn men. https://t.co/Hm66OD5lA4
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 14, 2019
This isn’t about men being men, or anyone else being anyone else. This is about being a functional member of society who doesn’t make someone else feel bad just because they can.
Intentions aren’t always received as you meant them so we need to know when to stop, even if it’s before the first move. Sometimes people don’t want the same thing as you. Recognize it and move on.
As a brand, it’s a smart move that does two things. Firstly, it reminds people that they exist and stand for something in a busy market with lots of competition. Secondly, it creates a stronger emotional reaction to the brand and its products. Gillette has said, in not so many words, that if you’re not with us, that’s fine. They don’t need you. The customers, both current and potential, who agreed with it now feel like the Gillette believes in the same things they do and have become advocates.
Last year, Nike did a similar brand move with their campaign about standing up for what you believe, no matter the consequences.
This also stirred up the conversation and lead to lots of customers cutting the tops off their own socks to remove the Nike logo. Perhaps they forgot that they owned the socks and Nike already have their money.
As a father and rational person, the message in the Gillette ad needed to be said. The “cheeky” comments, cat-calling, and derogatory behaviour has to stop. There’s no need for it and it only serves to shift the balance of power from the subject of the action to the person saying or doing it. Even if it’s “just a bit of fun” or “they can’t take a joke”, it makes someone feel less valued or worse, scared.
As a generation, it stops with us. We can teach better lessons and help guide our kids to be supportive, kind, and thoughtful.
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