Gillette - Bad Marketing or Clever Stirring of Social Outrage?

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?

Oh, Cy!

We so much disagree. I like that commercial. I get the feeling they weren’t trying to sell or commercial about shaving but more about what it means to be human - in general. I didn’t see it as a “Caveman” or anything other than what it takes to stand up for the right thing.

I feel like when some men see things that aren’t right, they don’t speak up, even in today’s day and age because of the ridicule he fears he may face from others around him. It’s uncomfortable, it feel strange. They say girls marry their dad and boys emulate their fathers.

As much as I hate to admit it, I was attracted men that were weak & pathetic as my biological father either that or as violent and crazy as my step mother. Overcoming adversities is hard when you do it alone. I always wondered how different my life would have been had I had a strong, caring father or a loving biological mother by my side.

Granted, I did make it but I feel like I would be much further along if I could have had things handed down to me like my step brother & sister. I was the stepchild that no one wanted and throughout my adulthood, when faced with adversities, abuse and harassment, I had no idea how to deal with it. I’ve gotten better.

Granted this has nothing to do with shaving but Gillet is mostly a man’s product (though they do have shaving product for women’s leg & such). I don’t think they are criticizing or weakening men but taking a stand and letting them know that it’s okay to stand up - regardless of how many others there are and be the first to say NO!


Mmmhhh… This could get heated. :slight_smile:

This is kind of the crux of the matter. The psychology of masculinity is constantly discussed and critiqued by women. (No offense.) That discussion also usually centers on a stereotype and reference to ‘toxic masculinity.’ In fact, in the commercial in question, those words feature in the first few seconds.

If men were to constantly critique feminine stereotypes or gently suggest that traditional definitions of femininity need to be put under the social microscope, there would be outrage. As it is, most men just ignore the current pop culture trend of criticizing masculinity. However, ads like this force discussion and quite honestly, feel like an attack.

And this is kind of the biggest trigger. This implies that men don’t already do this. However, most men will relate to the fact that in most situations, it is men who stand up for what they perceive as morally right. Whistleblowers from across the corporate and government spectrum are predominantly male. Even though I don’t agree with the fact, when events like 9/11 happen, it’s predominantly men who feel impassioned to immediately enlist in military service.

In day to day life, men are also usually the first to attempt to diffuse conflicts in work and social contexts.

Of course, this could quickly escalate into a debate between the sexes. However, it is clear that the Gillette commercial has been interpreted as insulting by the majority of men. This can be evidenced just by looking at the like to dislike ratio and comment section on Youtube.

The theme of Gillette taking on ‘toxic masculinity’ is also being interpreted the same way by the media.

My point is that Gillette has (in my opinion) purposefully sought to court controversy to start with. After all, just releasing a new shaving product doesn’t usually position your brand as a major talking point in the world media. :slight_smile:

As it is, I don’t use Gillette anyway. However, I will now not be using Gillette products in future. :slight_smile: Of course, you get men who are aggressive and as sensitive as a social hand grenade. However, one person with a drinking problem doesn’t make the whole human race an alcoholic. Nor does one woman with an anger management problem, result in all women being stereotyped as husband beaters. :slight_smile:

Oh, well. I guess I’ll cancel the florist. :wink:

I do not find your comments to be sexist nor controversial. You definitely have the right express your opinions as much as I do mine.

For me having been in mostly male dominated field - I know we can’t judge a group on the acts of individuals, but in general there undisputed facts. On the “average” the typical male are taller, stronger, more muscular and men still are the breadwinners in majority of households. Overall, the test scores indicate men are more mathematically inclined, therefore, more attracted to more technical fields. Women are still proven to be more of a nurturer, therefore, more inclined towards the nursing vice doctor, etc.

I know things aren’t always equal and it’s virtually impossible to make it such. I guess what I am seeing from a woman’s perspective and what you are seeing from a man’s perspective are completely different. We grew up in different environment and surrounding (family) with differing experiences.

The question lays in this, was Gillette marking this commercial towards men or were they targeting women? Did they do market research or control group research with men only and women only group before sending this out to the public? Did they want controversy? :thinking:

I know in marketing, big businesses do make major - regrettable mistakes, so this could be one of them. I also know if their target audience are women of certain nationality, race, culture, religion or even the country origin, perhaps they did want some outrage.

Simon, a.k.a. fastcopywriter, was a marketing executive, I think, too bad he’s not here to give us some insight into the marketing world! :slight_smile:

My belief is yes. It sells. I also think that campaigns like Fiverr’s in 2017 are purposefully designed to do the same.

I think they have targeted the media first, then women. Due to the length and nature of the commercial, I’m also guessing that they would have screened it to a test audience first. If they used a random sample of men and women in that audience, they would have seen that men weren’t going to receive the ad well. - But that’s what I’m guessing they wanted.

Could trying to court controversy backfire? Technically yes. However, I think Gillette has banked on the fact that products will still fly off shelves due to most men not buying their own razors in the first place.

I think it is quite a clever tactic actually. :slight_smile:

It’s also something to think about from a freelancing perspective. i.e. Should content creators like myself create content with a focus on SEO, or how many emotional buttons we can push at once to inspire more people to share and discuss content on social media?

When I was working on my graduate studies, it was interesting to find out that corporations spend millions or sometimes in the billions for everything. They spend $$ to get the layout of the store, right wording on advertisement, even the color of their logo has to be just right.

They even study to see which direction a customer will go - left or right - to put the right placement of their product for optimal purchasing power.

There was a time when women were buying more trucks, not as much as men but the numbers were rising, so the companies did a study to see what type of women, our height, weight, occupation, etc. were buying what type of truck and catered a design specific to meet the right demographic.

Back to the topic on hand. I buy disposable razors and cream for my legs. I typically don’t pay attention to the brand, I just look for something in a pretty pink bag. :smirk_cat: You think that maybe the next time I’m in Target or Walmart shopping that Gillette may catch my eye? Yup, will I support them simply because they made a commercial that appeals to me? Maybe, maybe not. I may buy it the first time, but if the product is crappy, I won’t buy it again.

No matter how catchy, good or bad an ad is, you still have to have a great product. Just like sellers on Fiverr. They can try to cheat the system by purchasing from each other or even buying their own gig from another account. If they are indeed good, then their business will take off; if their skills are to steal from Google, they will fail fast!

I like it, too.

Me, neither.

I’ve seen many men not speaking up, and I’m pretty certain that a lot of women feel that men often stay silent, or don’t even perceive something as all that wrong. Just a joke. Not that serious. Not a big deal.

So far, disposable Gillete Blue3 worked best for me (it’s officially for men, not for women). :slight_smile:


I love the conversations that happen on this forum! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


and I love to lurk. :upside_down_face:


I like to :eyes: lurk too. Not that I do not like to take time to converse too. But sometimes all I have time to do is catch up on what is going on here.


I care about everyone here sooooo much! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :hugs: :kissing_heart:

I measure love in grand pianos. Sorry to have to bring it up but I haven’t received a single one from you recenlty, @glacierlily.

Don’t be shy. All you have to do is PM me if you need my shipping address. :wink:

Hmm, your address huh? I could send you a miniature grand piano because I love you a little! :grin:


I’m sorry, my harem doesn’t accept applicants who are on the breadline. It’s a full-size grand piano or nothing I’m afraid. :frowning:

Don’t worry, though. If you happen to have a windfall, my Trust and Safety team will be able to review your application after a 90-day safety period. :wink:

I think I found a picture of your harem. :joy:



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Alas, this is why I steer clear of dating American women. In real life, they’re often more Texas Chainsaw Massacre than Sex & The City. :frowning:

Of course, I do hope that each of those lovely women do find the right man one day. :wink:

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