Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Advertising Masculinity

I finally succumbed to the viral marketing attempt and watched the Gillette ad about toxic masculinity that everyone's been talking about. (embedded below)

It's an interesting example of the attempt to prove that there's no such thing as bad publicity, in that it doesn't talk about all about razors and was probably guaranteed to annoy a lot of men (who in theory would be their target audience, unless this is actually mostly to push their "lady razor" segment, which given its prices may be more valuable.)

I suppose at some level they're trying to create an association of "good men = men who use Gillette" but they don't put much work into that association and I think their message is also probably going to be hampered by the fact that the most memorable parts of the add are the "men are the WORST" images of packs of feral teens and long lines of men behind grills saying in sync "boys will be boys". The images in the second half of men intervening and demonstrating good behavior are not the most memorable images in the spot.

The structure of the ad makes "men are bad" seem like the most memorable message. If they wanted to go with more of a "men should do right" message I think it would have been more effective to have some sort of a throughline to hang the "men doing right' message on. Their final image is of a boy seeing his father intervene to stop bullying. If their throughline was, "I learned a lot from my father..." and showed him stopping bullying, telling him cat-calling was unacceptable, keeping a promise, whatever. And then they could even have wrapped up with the dad also giving the lesson, "Get a shave. You look scruffy." which would have tied it back to the actual product.



3 comments:

CMinor said...

You are right, of course; the “good men” of the piece are not the most memorable part of the commercial. My reaction when I saw it was “It’s not bad. But who’s gonna remember to buy Gillette razors after seeing it?”

That aside, it’s yet another example of “looking good” on the cheap. Nobody’s gonna argue with the premise, and you might draw in some customers from among those viewers who don’t recognize the difference between window dressing and action.

Foxfier said...

And then they could even have wrapped up with the dad also giving the lesson, "Get a shave. You look scruffy." which would have tied it back to the actual product.

Grats, you just wrote a MUCH better ad than they did.

And it's aspirational.

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