Their newest target is men. And with a very heavily overloaded anthemic approach are now trying to 'teach' men how to be role models for the next generation of men. There's no mention of a product,
no demonstration of a product. It's like some kind of voice over coach in the locker room of life telling a bunch of dad's what they and their parents failed to do.
P&G kind of ventured into this arena a while ago (see my earlier blog post about it) with a feel-good commercial about young girls self-esteem and Always. However, it wasn't as overt as this Gillette commercial.
I am cynical about the real motives here. P&G may be lean on awards for the men's products categories and this is a way to get some instant hardware for the agency. I am sure that's part of the reason for this piece. And I have a hard time even calling this a commercial. It isn't a commercial.
This is like some kind of Dad giving his son a dressing down for his bad behavior. Grey New York is the AOR for this and is responsible for this piece.
Personally, I don't think any company has the right to lecture and moralize behavior. Gillette and P&G are assuming ALL MEN ARE BAD APPLES. And this simply isn't true. And I would venture to say that this piece will be seen by men who already have integrity and the right stuff to be excellent fathers and role models. So it will alienate those males who are already converted. And that could definitely affect sales and share. What this also says is that there is an undercurrent, a kind of
secret male club that throughout generations of men, has developed this deeply embedded, male dominance over men and women. Well in fact, that is true. It is part tribal, part king of the mountain
alpha male stuff that is EMBEDDED in their DNA as a survival instinct. Will this ad change things?
No. Will this ad make men more 'aware' of putting a lid on this alpha urge? mmmm I think the people this message speaks to are well aware of it by now. Will this change the constant exposure all kids have to game and movie violence? Easy availability to guns and drugs?
No. All in all this is a political/moral/integrity stew that no tidy bro-ad about men needing to be role models and raising their boys differently isn't going to fix in these politically charged times.
In truth, it is P&G appearing to take a high road and advantage of a women's movement and division on many levels to make themselves look good.
But much more important is this:
What Gillette and P&G have missed entirely is a whole other larger, needier group. And because P&G is so careful in what they project as a moral statement it's always waaay too late in being topical. I am sure they tested this premise and focus-grouped whether or not this would fly as a statement and by the time it's reached the public, it's old news and has no effect. Which is exactly what P&G wants. It wants to seem like it's on top of social issues, yet would never really risk addressing anything that's too ugly or too close to the bone. And certainly P&G would never do anything to affect their share.
What Gillett should have addressed is a target that probably doesn't even buy their product.
And that is the growing poor segment of the world as the middle class divides more and more into rich or poor.
Especially in the U.S. Much of the bullying, the lack of respect, the gangs and fighting, the savagery
towards women comes from the number of boys (and girls) being raised without fathers, in boken homes, a parent or parents doing time and some even being raised without either parent. These kids have no moral compass, no boundaries, no love. How can they? If their mothers are with them, they are absent having to work remedial jobs and leave the kids to their own devices because they can't afford care for them. And their relatives, if they have any, are in the same boat. And so it goes on and on. And I am not talking just Black kids. I am talking all kids...
These are the kids of tomorrow. They are the deep inner-city kids. They've been abandoned and forgotten....even in this 'clean, middle-class, nice Dad white-bread P&G version of #metoo. Don't forget, the #metoo movement was started by Black American women because as a group, these women suffer most from male dominance and abuse.
These inner city kids need the real help. And any money from this Gillette effort should go to them to improve their lives...not some safe Boys Clubs and Girls Clubs who are already supported.
So basically P&G just wants press. Wants to be seen as having a brand like Gillette that it can make a big statement and it will have an effect. And Grey (who never wins any awards for creativity) is very very hungry for attention at award shows.
UPDATE: Seems this ad was a salvo to other razor suppliers and may be the first in a RAZOR WAR.
Here's how HARRY'S has responded to Gillette:
I would categorize this as #TooLate or #P&GOpportunist movements and give this a 1 out of 10.