Well there is no mistaking the fact that Gillette have thrown the proverbial hand grenade into the men’s personal care arena.
Is this purely a case of jumping onto the band wagon, a risky marketing move or a genuine attempt at an awareness campaign?
Whatever your personal point of view, after the dust has settled, one thing’s for sure, which is they have certainly shoved the brand deep into the spotlight again. Regardless whether that be for the right or wrong reasons. With over 3 million views and rising on YouTube and my personal favourite, annoying the hell out of Piers Morgan. Although I’m waiting for Katie Hopkins to chime in to tell me what I’m supposed to think. Gillette would appear to have stirred up a hornet’s nest for now.
Gillette was originally founded in 1901. And although I have no idea who their competitors were back then. When I started shaving the fluff on my chin in the late 80’s, wishing I could grow a real beard, I had three choices of blade. Gillette, Wilkinson Sword or Bic. In today’s market though there is an abundance of shaving opinions from the Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s through to Bold King or King of Shaves to name but a few. All of which are one hell of a lot cheaper than Gillette.
With these new brands that have come to market and slowly chipping away at Gillette’s hold over the shaving products sector, it could be said that Gillette needed to make a bold new move to reposition themselves as relatable and front of mind.
Well they have certainly achieved the latter but not necessarily for the right reasons if you base this on the percentage of dislikes vs likes of their most recent ad. I guess only time will truly tell how their new position will affect their profit line and market share.
Then again in a world where we as consumers are becoming more emotionally attached and aware of what brands stand for and represent. We have more and more marketers looking to connect with consumers beyond just product facts. It’s that old adage, “what does this brand say about me”.
Without a doubt though Gillette is a super powerhouse brand that sold over £300m of razors last year alone compared to Wilkinson Sword who did just over £70m. Therefore, it’s safe to say they are for now an influencer brand. But with this latest move Gillette have decided to take a leaf out of Nike’s handbook, who are no strangers to controversy.
Who remembers the “Let Me Play” ad or Nic Munoz – HIV Runner. Or even the more recent ad, Believe in Something… with Colin Kaepernick. All these ads bucked the trend by putting a spot light on key issues at the time and opened them up for debate. And if you recall, all of these ads received backlash. However, did it damage the Nike brand, well in short no. Sales continue to rise and Nike is still one of the biggest sports brands in the world.
The question I put to you is this, has Gillette really done something any different from Nike with their “The Best Men Can Be” advert and therefore is this really going to damage their brand. Also do you think the advert is really that offensive or merely putting the spot light on a topically subject?
Like you, we’ve watched the current advert and the verdict here is split. Some see this ad as a positive statement for men overall, calling out the minority. Where others feel it’s a toxic and political statement made by Gillette to purely push their brand and get people talking about them again. Which in fairness, which ever camp you fall in, they’ve achieved the latter regardless.
The one thing we all seem to agree on here is that although this latest advert has clearly riled many people, it does feel a little bit like a storm in a tea cup, which will pass. What are your thoughts?