If you haven’t heard already, smoothed faced men around the world are seething with outrage. The reason? A short film by Gillette, which depicts men as violent, bigoted, sexist cavemen, who need 1-minute and 48-seconds of SJW re-education.
Gone are the days of Gillette commercials picturing men actually shaving. Instead, Gillette wants to now step forward and single-handedly lead men out of the darkness of conventional masculine stereotypes. Men, though, have rebelled by flocking to social media to call for a boycott of Gillette. My question, though, is has Gillette been hoping for this all along?
Bill Hicks once said on stage that if you work in marketing, you should kill yourself. All marketing is, after all, is time spent plotting like a mad psychiatrist, how to exploit the psychology of your target market. (To make them buy stuff.) With this in mind, I think that Gillette has purposefully tried to foment outrage to achieve its marketing goals.
For one, if you spend time working in retail (and specifically major grocery stores), you will quickly realize that men don’t usually buy razors. For the most part, women do the weekly household shop for food, toiletries, and household essentials. That’s not sexist, that’s just how things are. Hence why instead of Led Zeppelin and Wolf Mother playing over supermarket sound systems, you have hypnotic 1980’s power ballads.
Secondly, Gillette’s new commercial going viral means that when millions, possibly billions of people around the word think ‘razor,’ they are now going to also immediately think ‘Gillette.’ It doesn’t matter what anyone’s personal political views are, the marketing impression has been made and someone somewhere is always in need of a razor.
Lastly, having marketing media go viral is the ultimate goal of any ad agency. What no one seems to appreciate, though, is the fact that by and large, only gratuitously controversial content goes viral in the first place. You can have the cutest cat video or the most epic love story. However, peoples emotional triggers only get pulled when something outrages them.
My view on the Gillette video, is that Gillette has just played everyone. I think they spent a lot of time figuring out how to outrage as many men as possible, then put that plan into action. Moreover, I don’t think this is anything new. In fact, I think that brands and ad agencies use this tactic to turbocharge exposure on a regular basis. Hence the likes of:
The only question is. am I the only one who sees things this way?