Gillette's New Commercial Empowers Men To Be 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.


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.

Popular Right Now

20 Things That Happen When A Jersey Person Leaves Jersey

Hoagies, pizza, and bagels will never be the same.

Ah, the "armpit of America." Whether you traveled far for college, moved away, or even just went on vacation--you know these things to be true about leaving New Jersey. It turns out to be quite a unique state, and leaving will definitely take some lifestyle adjustment.

1. You discover an accent you swore you never had.

Suddenly, people start calling you out on your pronunciation of "cawfee," "wooter," "begel," and a lot more words you totally thought you were saying normal.

2. Pork Roll will never exist again.

Say goodbye to the beautiful luxury that is pork roll, egg, and cheese on a bagel. In fact, say goodbye to high-quality breakfast sandwiches completely.

3. Dealing with people who use Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, or Dominos as their go-to pizza.

It's weird learning that a lot of the country considers chain pizza to be good pizza. You're forever wishing you could expose them to a real, local, family-style, Italian-owned pizza shop. It's also a super hard adjustment to not have a pizza place on every single block anymore.

4. You probably encounter people that are genuinely friendly.

Sure Jersey contains its fair share of friendly people, but as a whole, it's a huge difference from somewhere like the South. People will honestly, genuinely smile and converse with strangers, and it takes some time to not find it sketchy.

5. People drive way slower and calmer.

You start to become embarrassed by the road rage that has been implanted in your soul. You'll get cut off, flipped off, and honked at way less. In fact, no one even honks, almost ever.

6. You realize that not everyone lives an hour from the shore.

Being able to wake up and text your friends for a quick beach trip on your day off is a thing of the past. No one should have to live this way.

7. You almost speak a different language.

The lingo and slang used in the Jersey area is... unique. It's totally normal until you leave, but then you find yourself receiving funny looks for your jargon and way fewer people relating to your humor. People don't say "jawn" in place of every noun.

8. Hoagies are never the same.

Or as others would say, "subs." There is nothing even close in comparison.

9. Needing Wawa more than life, and there's no one to relate.

When you complain to your friends about missing Wawa, they have no reaction. Their only response is to ask what it is, but there's no rightful explanation that can capture why it is so much better than just some convenient store.

10. You have to learn to pump gas. Eventually.

After a long period of avoidance and reluctance, I can now pump gas. The days of pulling up, rolling down your window, handing over your card and yelling "Fill it up regular please!" are over. When it's raining or cold, you miss this the most.

11. Your average pace of walking is suddenly very above-average.

Your friends will complain that you're walking too fast - when in reality - that was probably your slow-paced walk. Getting stuck behind painfully slow people is your utmost inconvenience.

12. You're asked about "Jersey Shore" way too often.

No, I don't know Snooki. No, our whole state and shore is not actually like that. We have 130 miles of some of the best beach towns in the country.

13. You can't casually mention NYC without people idealizing some magical, beautiful city.

Someone who has never been there has way too perfect an image of it. The place is quite average and dirty. Don't get me wrong, I love a good NYC day trip as much as the next person, but that's all it is to you... a day trip.

14. The lack of swearing is almost uncomfortable.

Jerseyans are known for their foul mouths, and going somewhere that isn't as aggressive as us is quite a culture adjustment.

15. No more jughandles.

No longer do you have to get in the far right lane to make a left turn.

16. You realize that other states are not nearly as extreme about their North/South division.

We literally consider them two different states. There are constant arguments and debates about it. The only thing that North and South Jersey can agree on is that a "Central Jersey" does not exist.

17. Most places also are not in a war over meat.

"Pork roll" or "taylor ham"... The most famous debate amongst North and South Jersey. It's quite a stupid argument, however, considering it is definitely pork roll.

18. You realize you were spoiled with fresh produce.

After all, it's called the "Garden State" for a reason. Your mouth may water just by thinking about some fresh Jersey corn.

19. You'll regret taking advantage of your proximity to everything.

Super short ride to the beach and a super short ride to Philly or NYC. Why was I ever bored?

20. Lastly, you realize how much pride you actually have in the "armpit of America," even if you claimed to dislike it before.

After all, there aren't many places with quite as much pride. You find yourself defending your state at all necessary moments, even if you never thought that would be the case.

Cover Image Credit: Travel Channel

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Netflix's 'Special' Is A Groundbreaking Series About A Gay Man With Cerebral Palsy

Based off his memoir "I'm Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves" Ryan O'Connell reimagines his journey in this witty 15-minute comedy.


Ryan O'Connell is a gay man with cerebral palsy, and he's here to showcase his story in a must-see eight episode series. O'Connell navigates his world behind sexuality and disability in a coming-of-age twentysomething comedy, that's extremely important in today's society. When it comes to the topic of representation, O'Connell exceeds expectations as he shines a light on internalized ableism, being a fish out of water in his own community, and even the topic of gay sex. This series has a significant amount of charm, it's almost like a rated-R Disney show with its quirky music, fast-paced story and it's a success in making everyone's heart melt.

"Special" is about Ryan Hayes (Ryan O'Connell) a charismatic and shy gay man with mild cerebral palsy who's "28 and hasn't done a goddamn thing." Therefore, he takes the initiative of becoming an unpaid intern at an online magazine titled "Eggwoke" and begins his journey in soul-searching for his identity. His boss Olivia (Marla Mindelle), a chaotic Anna Wintour-type, expresses that most articles going viral right now are confessional ones. This allows Ryan to have his moment, as he writes an anecdote about getting hit by a car and inflates it from a minor injury to a traumatic piece, which allows him to use it as a cover story for his limp and to keep his condition a secret from his peers.

Ryan befriends one of his peers, a South-Asian American woman named Kim (Punam Patel) whose professional niche involves body positivity, the empowerment of being a person of color and a curvy girl. Her constant confidence helps paint her as the motivating friend that helps Ryan get more comfortable with himself. They share a moment at Olivia's pool party in a room when Ryan refuses to take off his clothes and she coerces him into taking off his clothes and appreciating his body. Kim might be a bit of a push towards Ryan, but she's only leading him in the right direction.

"Special" is extremely self-aware, especially within the first scenes of the first episode which explain what mild cerebral palsy is and in response a child screams in fear and runs away, leaving Ryan confused but humored. There even is a complex relationship between Ryan and his mother, Karen (Jessica Hecht). Karen's an overprotective mother who only wants the best for her child, but when she's at that point of finally letting him be free she's put into a place of loneliness. The show tackles a very specific mother/son relationship, as Ryan tries not to rely on his mother for help all the time, Karen does not mind any hassle regarding her son... especially with his condition. The two butt heads at multiple occasions, but their love for one another prevails.

"Special" has eight episodes that you can watch on Netflix right now, it's binge-worthy especially with each episode being around 15 minutes and it's also an eye-opener. This show helps strive for self-revelation and self-evaluation, it's a reflective process on identity and what categories we put ourselves in. Ryan O'Connell has made such a marvelous show, with a charming cast, multiple important messages, and a motive to help normalize disabilities and homosexuality to the public through a unique and specific perspective. It's a personal experience that everyone should watch, learn and love from.

Related Content

Facebook Comments