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August 23 2019

Gillette Moving Away from "Toxic Masculinity" Lectures with New Ad Featuring Firefighter?

by Charlotte Hays

Remember the Gillette’s razor blade ad that lectured the public on “toxic masculinity?”

You can fondly recall the ad here.

In something of an understatement, Hot Air notes that “many observers didn’t appreciate the political lecture from a razor company.”

Proctor and Gamble, the parent company of Gillette, on Tuesday wrote down the value of its Gillette brand by $8 billion.

While Proctor and Gamble ascribed the write-down to competition and currency devaluation, it has been noticed that Gillette has just released a new ad. It features a hunky firefighter. So maybe traditional masculinity is making a comeback at the razor blade company?

Here is a description of the new ad:

The razor brand Gillette says it is “shifting the spotlight from social issues to local heroes” after an ad delving into “toxic masculinity” caused a customer backlash.

The new ad, which launched last week, stars Australian firefighter and personal trainer Ben Ziekenheiner. “I’ve been a firefighter for 19 years,” Mr Ziekenheiner says in the ad.

“People sometimes ask if it’s scary. It can be, but like anyone who has a job to do, you prepare — not just in terms of your equipment but also mentally and physically.”

Hot Air notes that the new ad straddles a line between being woke and acknowledging traditional masculinity:

Gillette is still opting for the softest possible approach with this ad. Yes, there are scenes of firefighters in a burning house, but there are no screaming sirens or men issuing orders or scenes of manly men high-fiving at the firehouse. Instead, the ad is focused on Ziekenheiner’s home and in particular his young daughter.

The ad ends with a slo-mo shot of him hugging her before he heads out to work. So I’d say Gillette is trying to straddle a line here between a full-on manly-man approach and the woke messaging we saw earlier this year.

Hugs to Gillette for tepidly moving towards an embrace of regular guys, who, after all, are the primary purchasers of razor blades.

 





Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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