Gillette's New Commercial Empowers Men And Acknowledges The Good They Can Do As Active Bystanders

Gillette's New Commercial Empowers Men And Acknowledges The Good They Can Do As Active Bystanders

It's not here to aggressively come at them or accuse them all.

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On January 14, 2019, Gillette displayed a commercial promoting not only the Me Too movement but also healthy relationships and masculinity. It portrayed how men can be the crucial leaders we need, having a role that others can't carry out in the same way. Like actor Terry Crews says in the video, "Men need to hold other men accountable."

Needless to say, I'm thrilled.

This commercial does a lot of things right: it shows the importance of having men at the table during conversations of violence, harassment, and bullying; it shows that these productive behaviors are masculine, and it shows examples of how men can be active bystanders who engage in helpful and healthy conversations. It's showing the power men have in being able to make big changes and do the right thing, as many men do.

In addition, this commercial shows how males can be bullied and hurt too. Not all males are perpetrators, and not all perpetrators are male. This is an important narrative that's not portrayed in the media as often as it should be and is a fact that feminists believe in too.

From a public relations standpoint, as discussed in one of my PR classes, Gillette got its name out there, and it didn't target specific individuals on either side of the Me Too issue. In addition, the commercial did a great job of representing men of all races and ages. While young boys may not be the ones buying razors, it is important for them to see how to be an active bystander and be empathetic, as these lessons are crucial from an early age. "Because the boys of today are the men of tomorrow," the commercial says, emphasizing this point.

In addition, moms who may be buying razors for their children may approve of the commercial and therefore buy the Gillette brand for their child. Further, I appreciate how the razor wasn't the main part of the ad, because that's not the point and would've made the brand seem insincere. Social responsibility is an important part of PR, which Gillette did well here.

What really works out great too is the fact this message fits so well with their slogan "The best a man can get" because acting in the helpful ways the men did in this commercial, especially towards the end, portray the best ways men can be. Men are also more than their appearance, which I'm glad Gillette acknowledged at their beginning of the commercial in reference to an old commercial that focused on a shaven man being the best man.

"We believe in the best in men," the commercial says, showing its support for men rather than coming at them aggressively or calling out the wrongs of certain men. Gillette is saying it knows men are great people who have the power to do great things, and wants to encourage them to do so, showing real-life examples along the way. It's saying "Some men have done bad things, but we believe that men are and can be so much better than that."

When men say "not all men," I get it. I do. But I also believe men can do better -- we all can. We make a difference not by not doing bad, but by actively doing good and using our resources to do so.

At the end of the commercial, a slide pops up with the text "It's only by challenging ourselves to do more that we can get closer to our best." I believe this is a call to not only men but to all people to aim for being the best they can be. Saying we should do more isn't underappreciating the good we have done, but acknowledging that there's always more we can and are called to do. This goes for everything.

We can stand up for people who are being bullied. We can not laugh at harassment jokes regardless of the gender of the people involved. We can encourage and empower the children around us. We can have empathy in a world that can be filled with hurt.

Gillette, the best a man can get? Yes, but also the best we can all be.

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A Letter To The Tomboy I Used To Be

To that girl with the baseball hat, board shorts, and grass stains, thank you.
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To the tomboy I used to be,

Thank you so much for making me the strong, beautiful, determined, and badass girl I am today. I am proud of who you've become. It is because of you that I can stand on my own two feet. It is because of you that I am not afraid to stand up for what I believe in. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

You were never easy to deal with. Mom and Dad had a lot to handle growing up. It was Dad who had to fight for you to be able to play boys' baseball. It was Mom who had to stand up to the boys that were mean to you for playing a boys' sport. It was both of them who had to cart you around to all of your games and practices, because playing one sport a season was just not enough. It was Mom who had to wash your clothes endless times, because the grass and dirt stains would never come out the first time. Don't ever forget who helped you become who you are.

Your attitude and thought process is very different from that of most girls. You grew up dealing with your problems through wrestling or fighting. Pettiness was not something you could deal with. Your anger came from losing a game, not drama with girls. You didn't understand why girls fought, or were so mean to each other, and to this day, you still don't understand it. You are different. You aren't like most girls by any means, which can be difficult for you, even now. You are so much tougher. You think differently. You are determined.

I love who you turned into. You are so strong; you handle everything with such passion and grit, that I can't help but thank you. Thank you for pushing yourself, and for not letting anything or anyone get in your way. The boys were mean sometimes, and the girls talked about you, but that never fazed you. That chip on your shoulder only made you strive even harder for greatness.

Thank you for making me unique. Thank you for making me extraordinary. Thank you for making me, me.


Love,

Amy

Cover Image Credit: tumblr

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If You're Against Abortion, Here's What You Should Do About It

There's more you can-- and should-- do than picket outside Planned Parenthood

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Upon the recent passing of a law that permits late-term abortions, I have seen many of my friends cry out uproariously that our country is fallen and has forsaken God. While you could probably argue this point with other examples, I don't think that this particular one serves as proof of our current state. Let me first explain to you what this law really is about and then encourage you to take other actions to lower the abortion rate.

Now in case you're not familiar, New York recently passed a law allowing abortions during the third trimester of pregnancy. What I think a lot of people have still yet to realize is that this is only allowed in the case that the fetus is not likely to live once outside the womb or the birth will be of danger to the mother. So one more time for those who still might be confused, abortion doctors are not just taking babies out of the womb and killing them a day before birth because the mother decided she didn't want it anymore. This is to save lives and prevent pain and suffering.

I know many think that aborting a terminal fetus before birth still counts as murder, but let me equate it, instead, to ending life support for a loved one who is brain-dead. In many cases, these children are experiencing pain inside the womb only to be followed by more pain shortly before death once born. Parents that are choosing to abort their pregnancies in the third trimester for these reasons are devastated and only trying to end a child's suffering, often at the expense of their own.

Hopefully, I have convinced you that not all abortions are just being used as a form of contraception and that there are many painful stories about the necessity of abortion for a mother. What can you do to lower these rates though? Well, I might add that making abortion legal probably isn't going to do the trick. While you might want to close your ears to this information, women who want an abortion are probably going to get one whether it's legal or not. Many anti-abortion individuals happen to be the same individuals that are anti-gun control with the argument that illegal guns will be procured no matter the laws. Might I turn your eye than to the case of abortion and the fact that people will probably always do what they want to do. Anyhow, let me get off of my soapbox and actually provide some information.

If you're really in it to lower abortion rates, walking outside of Planned Parenthood with a sign, shaming the women who enter probably isn't going to do the trick. First of all, Planned Parenthood does more than just provide abortions, so you may be scaring/shaming a woman who just wants access to healthcare for her pregnancy out of seeking help at all. What you can do, however, is push for your local schools to teach real sex education and not abstinence-only contraception. Yeah, scary pictures of STD's might do the trick for a while, but as we've previously discussed, people are probably going to do what they want to do regardless of what you tell them. We need to be teaching our young people how to have safe sex, and just be teaching them about sex in general. I know that the thought of your teenager having sex probably scares the crap out of you but, if they're going to do it anyway, don't you want them to be safe?

Another thing that you can do to lower the rate of abortion is to call for easier access to birth control for women. When they can easily and affordably access safe methods of contraception, there are bound to be less unwanted pregnancies. The United States needs to not only be educating its youth about all aspects of sex, but it needs to be making it as easy as possible for them to be SAFE about it. It may not be your first preference for young people to be having sex, but if they're going to do it anyway, we need to ensure that they feel comfortable taking the countermeasures to be safe about it.

The last point I'd like to make before I finish up is that even if you think that abortion is morally wrong, it's not your choice to make whether or not another individual decides to get one. Many times this decision is going to be a painful one for the mother, especially if she knows that her child will not survive outside the womb. There is no reason to make this process more painful for her, or even dangerous by illegalizing it. We need to be supporting mothers and not shaming them for whatever decision they decide to make.

If you're anti-abortion, that doesn't mean you have to be anti-choice. If you would choose not to get one, that's totally fine and I understand that, but it's important to look at the bigger picture and ensure both the physical and mental health of our women who are probably already going through a lot. Now is not the time to tear others down for their choices. Now is the time for the human race to stand together and support each other and make sure that our country is a safe one to live in regardless of your beliefs.

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