Research-Based Articles

The Gillette Ad-2019, Review

We Believe: The Best Men Can Be | Gillette (Short Film)| https://youtu.be/koPmuEyP3a0

The Gillette ad which got everyone talking released in 2019 was talk of the town. The underlying content and undertone being used in it to talk openly about social justice and self-awareness was commendable. The ad with one of the finest audio-visuals pointed out some pertinent questions about toxic masculinity and later, the role of men in the society to bring that balance. In this commercial Gillette has approached Men (being a man brand) to come forward in support of all those who suffer harassment of any kind. Be it a #Metoo moment, bullying or corporate harassment. Capturing multiple shots of harassment, bullying a child, body shaming was being questioned in the first part. The idea behind to create this ad to have a more compassionate society without filtration, judgments, and equality and how the role of men can make it more practical.

Source: Emma Mulcahy, 20 Dec 2019, Thedrum.com

                     This Gillette ad was hard-hitting on the audience and for the everyone who watched it. Be it any family member, young, teenager, child, adult, man, woman, and people in all the possible relationships. Gillette knew who they were targeting? And how to address inequality in terms of gender and bias. The common acceptance of “Boys will be boys” syndrome typically dictates power, patriarchy and creating toxic masculinity around the globe. The message was clear- Wrong is wrong and assuming that anything wrong in the garb of gender would be assumed as wrong with no gender explanation. The initial few seconds of the ad is all about showing men of all ages and their reaction while they watch the news on TV. News about sexual harassment, Bullying, and all the normal things which can go wrong for another gender. Like not necessary that any lame joke on woman should be considered as a matter of pride and why it shouldn’t be taken as normal. The commercial has conveyed the strong message a Men brand wants to carry and the belief that the best man is the one who would stand against the wrong things at the right time. Be it in a public place, a child hitting another child and to act the right way, protecting them and making them understand. Words used in this commercial are powerful and impressive and have the ability to impress the mind of the larger section. They were right including people from various professions, gender, age because for them harassment doesn’t validate age. It can happen at any age and by anyone. Addressing strong issues of disrespecting a woman and how she remains silent without raising her voice against those men. The talked about almost everything in a short time.

                   Gillette has made this advertisement insightful, contemplative, thoughtful and food for thought for men, as to how they can bring a positive change in the society. The ad also breaks the silence that it’s not only men’s world, but the change of mindset can only make it more compassionate. The role of the man is equally important and doesn’t lie solely on the women until it comes naturally from men to give them respect and equal importance. Father encouraging his toddler to say, “I am strong” shows how the role of the father is equally important in bringing equality which starts right from the home. Adding to this, they targeted not only women’s plight but also children, teens who often get bullied for no reason. Body shaming, hitting each other etc to spread awareness of those crimes which are never considered so. The deep patriarchy mindset needs to be rooted out and why boys need to change and can change in every age. The advertisement shared some bold and powerful messages in the background.

Because the boys watching today will be the men tomorrow.

Believe in to say the right thing”

To behave the right way”

The best a man can get

It’s by challenging ourselves to do more than we can get closer to our best.

A man rushing towards to help another child who is the father (holding hands of his child) is enough to stir emotion to each one who doesn’t want to involve in other’s matter even if it is as wrong as hitting a teenager. And how these scenes of fathers helping children to resolve their fight or protecting against bullying leave a heartfelt picture to the younger ones who were watching them doing do.

The picturization and the message were clear that everyone knows the difference between right and wrong but still, things happen, and no one dares to raise his/her voice to correct it. A young man stopping another teenager to stop passing lewd comment on the girl passing by is another picture to stop eve-teasing and catcalling. And last message showing three children approximately the age of 6-9 years with a clear message that the boys watching today will be the men tomorrow. And why it’s the most important thing to set the right examples in front of them so that tomorrow when they grow up, they stand with each one to protect their dignity and basic human rights!

The ad has covered all the genders, age groups, colour and made everyone convinced that real men are the who is with you, even in difficult times and not the one who is troubling you and being silent on wrong things. The immediate connect and attention is appealing in this advertisement. Right from the beginning when it talks about the news around the worlds till giving the solution, in the end, makes it promising to everyone around. Violence and harassment are not a new word. As per WHO (World Health Organization, 29 Nov 2017), 1 in 3 of women worldwide has experienced violence in their lifetime. Not only women, as also talked about bullying and grey shades of patriarchy.

The Gillette ad was captivating and made in a manner that anyone who hears it from the distance, would turn their heads to watch till the end. And the strong message which conveys how a bigger change awaits and why men should chip in to give it a start. Right from the beginning commercial advertisements have always been the mass message giver to society. Nevertheless, it is been used by a few impressively and many failed to woo the audience. But what exactly makes a good ad? What are the ingredients one should use so that it comes as a perfect recipe with the best taste?  Until the ad is crisp and to the point, no one is interested to watch it again with zero recall value. On the contrary, anyone who feels connected to the ad means they can feel it happening or has happened to them once upon a time or there are chances that they may face this in future. Most of the people learn from their past experiences and for some learning comes with the advertisement. A right advertisement is always focused on the right audience, giving a clear-cut message in the end.  Like, a child who is yet to witness the real world might learn with their parents and what they see on screen. Empathy isn’t an obsolete work, it’s there but you need to knock it over and over again to feel it. Just like you know how to bring the best in you with your positive personality traits! And the age at which you start shaving means you care enough to stand against wrong, showing a real man!

Emma Mulcahy, 20 Dec 2019, https://www.thedrum.com/news/2019/05/03/creative-works-10-the-most-viewed-ads-2019-so-far

WHO.int, 29 Nov, 2017, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/violence-against-women

Disclaimer: This is the research paper I’d written for Justin Wade (justin.writingteam@gmail.com) and hasn’t been paid for it. SO, I’m publishing it on my portal!! Please email me at ektashah27@gmail.com for any queries.

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