Here is my take on cause related advertising. Some would argue that if your brand shaves hair – your communication should remain in that zone. Just because most men use razors, the razor company’s communication should stay in the zone of hair, men, and quality of the shave.
Evolved marketers and ad agencies have ventured out of this comfort zone to take the communication to another level.
Cause related advertising
In January of 2019 Gillette released a campaign that included a short video showing what it meant to be “The Best Men Can Be.”
Toxic reactions to the commercial
What was meant to be a disapproval of Toxic Masculinity and a few suggestions that nudged men towards more human behavior, quickly became the reason why had a huge number of men lost their minds. That is the only way one could explain the Twitter and Youtube tirade this ad started.
Advertising makes you pause, and think – it can’t all be bad
Twitter Response to the Toxic Masculinity Ad
“And just like that, a razor company launched a movement. As if it wasn’t refreshing enough to see a company take a risk to make this stance, real men start stepping up to address the backlash. #Gillette #TheBestAManCanGet”
“The fact that the #Toxicmasculinity #Gillette commercial has nearly 3x as many dislikes as likes on YouTube painfully illustrates the need for such a commercial. #TheBestAManCanGet?”
The cause related ad that got a better response
‘We see the good in men’ that ad proclaimed. And the men bought it. Gillette was compared unfavorably with a company that eulogized men.
‘They inspire us to be better versions of ourselves’ one fan raved.
And Michael Newton summarized it best:
No more razors for me. I shave with watches now.
But the funny thing is that this ad got only 4,894,673 views and the likes and dislikes were nowhere near the Gillette numbers. The comments were far fewer too.
Can it be that a bold cause related ad statement made by the brand is a great idea? Even if a great number of the target audience is up in arms about it? I like to imagine that the men who agreed with the Gillette ad may not have joined the conversation. But they are probably reaching out for Gillette Razors in supermarket isles, thinking of it as their contribution towards making the world a safer place for their daughters.