Is this really the best a man can get?
That's the question Gillette and the team over at Procter & Gamble (P&G) are asking in their new commercial and the world is waiting on an answer.
This week, Gillette released its newest commercial—that plays out more like a short film—in which the #MeToo movement is addressed, "boys will be boys" is no longer an acceptable reply and their 30-year slogan, "the best a man can get," is brought into the modern era by twisting it to focus on "the best men can be."
The commercial proves that toxic masculinity has gone on for too long by showing glimpses of bullying, harassment, "atta boy mentalities" and overall negative actions from boys and men. It's these actions that have led to the current issues both men and women are facing on a daily basis.
Next, there are clips of men who are already acting "the right way," which drives home the point that these sexist and inappropriate learned actions have been going on "far too long." Luckily, that all stops today...at least for the Gillette team and ideally its customers.
With the release of this powerful video, Gillette caused quite a commotion. The idea that "the boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow" is both exciting and terrifying if things don't begin to change.
By showing scenes of men doing the right thing, like calling off men who catcall women, ending kids fighting with other boys and showing that boys are looking up to the men of today, the company has made people stop and take note.
Some people have praised the brand for its ad and awareness of the current climate and negative attention men who are toxic have brought on all men, including Chrissy Teigen who took to Twitter to sing the brand's praises.
"I've been using a men's Gillette razor since I was 14. Gillette was the first major company to hire me when I was kind of known as a risky little b for brands. I still use a gillette fusion razor and I still get so much joy from a fresh blade. in closing, I love you, Gillette," she shared on Tuesday.
Other customers and people in general however have voiced their anger at the overall message.
Negative comments include being called "sexist" or "preachy," but that doesn't mean Gillette or P&G as a whole is backing down in any way from their mission to educate men and boys on how to act in today's world.
"As the world's largest marketer to men, we knew that joining the dialogue on ‘Modern Manhood' would mean changing how we think about and portray men at every turn," Gary Coombe, president of P&G Global Grooming said in a press release on Monday.
"As a starting point, and effective immediately, Gillette will review all public-facing content against a set of defined standards meant to ensure we fully reflect the ideals of Respect, Accountability and Role Modeling in the ads we run, the images we publish to social media, the words we choose, and more. For us, the decision to publicly assert our beliefs while celebrating men who are doing things right was an easy choice that makes a difference."
With more than four million views on YouTube and seven million views on Twitter since its release, Gillette's video message is clearly being heard and the brand isn't stopping there.
In addition to launching their new ad campaign and redefining their slogan, the brand has launched a new charitable program to promote the positive impact some men are making and continue to dismantle the "toxic masculinity" way of life throughout the country.
"Gillette believes in the best in men," Coombe said. "By holding each other accountable, eliminating excuses for bad behavior, and supporting a new generation working toward their personal ‘best,' we can help create positive change that will matter for years to come."
This short film kicked off Gillette's new venture to end this toxicity by taking action. This includes the brand donating $1 million per year over the next three years to different non-profit organizations in the U.S. beginning with The Boys & Girls Club of America in 2019.
With so many eyes on them, it'll be interesting to see what Gillette does next in their mission to end male toxicity and promote the "best" version of men.
"It's only by challenging ourselves to do more that we can get closer to our best," the commercial reads as it comes to a close and its message seems to be spot on.
To learn more about Gillette's efforts in bringing about awareness and changing the post #MeToo culture, head to thebestmencanbe.org.