Gillette has decided to stop making adverts on “social issues,” and instead focus on “local heroes,” after losing billions of dollars for going woke in an infamous ad.
Gillette created a number of woke ads earlier this year, and faced a consumer backlash for doing so. Their advert released in January was based around the #MeToo movement; it attacked traditional masculinity and painted men as sexual predators. A second ad released in May featured a father teaching their transgender “son” how to shave. Ads for their Venus line also featured trans people and fat women.
A backlash cost the company an estimated $8 billion dollars in value, something their CEO and President Gary Coombe was “a price worth paying”:
It was pretty stark. We were losing share, we were losing awareness and penetration, and something had to be done… [we decided to] take a chance in an emotionally-charged way.
As a result, Gillette says their adverts will now focus on “local heroes,” like Australian firefighter Ben Ziekenheiner, who is featured in their newest spot. Manu Airan, Associate Brand Director for Australia and New Zealand said that they have a “clear strategy” when it comes to connecting with their customers:
We will continue to talk about what is important to Gillette and that is representing men at their best and helping men do their best. That is not changing. We will continue to do that and demonstrate it in different ways.
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