Jack Parkos | United States
Whether or not you agree with the message of Gillette’s recent ad, it is clear that it is risky for any corporation to get political. Without a doubt, it can have great blowback. Gillette’s new ad is receiving both love and hate and the divide here is clear. In fact, the YouTube video is receiving a great deal of criticism from people. Many are calling to boycott the company.
Indeed, this ad makes some highly questionable claims. However, the main focus of this article is not to criticize the claims made by Gillette. Instead, it will discuss political marketing and how it is bad for the consumer and producer.
It does not take a marketing expert to know that you don’t alienate half of your customers. But when a company gets into politics, they almost inevitably do this. One should not receive cultural and political lectures when simply trying to purchase a razor.
Why Critics Dislike the Gillette Ad
First of all, some believe the ad has stereotyped men as misogynistic. They also believe it has used the leftist talking point of “toxic masculinity”. Critics have noted that the ad implies that fathers (a large consumer of razors) are currently failing to raise their sons to respect women. The left associates that the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” in the court of law is somehow promoting this behavior. Many believe that this is an insult to their top consumer. Gillette has claimed that this isn’t the point of the ad. Nonetheless, it comes across as such to many people.
The ad was trying to say that the good men should stand up to the “toxic men”, which of course is true. But critics of the Gillette ad state how good men already do that. They also suggest that to imply they don’t simply because they believe in due process is insulting to many.
Whether you agree with the ads or the criticism is irrelevant to why politics should not be in marketing, however.
Keeping Marketing Out of Politics
What place does a corporation have in this matter, anyway? Gillette is using a cultural movement to sell razors. The product has nothing to do with any political issue. They are simply trying to make themselves seem morally superior. Is it not toxic behavior to use a sensitive topic just to sell more razors?
It is not just Gillette that is the issue. Nike did this with Kaepernick. Countless other examples exist. Many people simply want to watch a game or even a commercial and get a break from politics. People just want to buy products without having to take a stand. All these ads do, though, is divide an already divided country. This ad is just another battle in the culture war. Why must everything be political?
Whether left, right, liberal, conservative, or anything else, the marketing industry should steer clear of political issues. Their job is to provide a good or service, not give lectures. Issues such as #MeToo are critical to talk about, but a Gillette ad is not the proper setting.
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