How much of a risk was Gillette’s new ad campaign?

Gillette New Ad Image

How much of a risk was Gillette’s new ad campaign?

Two of Alter Agents team members, Rebecca Brooks and Mike Dickerson, recently weighed in on the much-discussed new ad campaign for Gillette on the blog. A departure from the brand’s traditional communications and advertising, their new take on what “masculinity” means caught many brand and marketing experts by surprise. In the article, called “Razor’s Edge: Will Consumers Change Purchase Habits Due to Gillette’s New Ad Campaign?”, Rebecca and Mike analyze the possible pitfalls and benefits of the new approach.

They write: “Traditionally, the ‘best a man can get’ is to have his smoothly shaven cheek stroked by a sexy woman. This new campaign throws out this approach, going to far as to discard it completely – and clearly – at the beginning of the new advertisement.” By doing a complete about-face with their advertising, the razor company runs the risk of appearing inauthentic or alienating some of their customer base. In the article, our authors question the brand’s ability to “pull off this pivot” while also applauding its attempt.

The short video ad itself is a powerful statement about what “being the best a man can be” means in today’s society. Instead,, this new ad presents a “fundamental shift in how they are asking their customers to view the brand and to view themselves.” It encourages men to nurture respect, “with a explanatory statement (a nod to the company’s historical tagline) that ‘It’s only by challenging ourselves to do more that we can get closer to our best.’”

They close out their analysis of the new campaign:

“The massive shift of brand promise is nothing if not brave. And while risky, it may not be as much of a jump as we used to think in the brand marketing world. Our recent research has revealed that consumers don’t buy based on values as much as we once thought, especially when it comes to mass CPG brands. In fact, only 10% of respondents in a recent study we conducted with Buzzfeed said that a brand supporting their values contributed to their recent purchasing decisions in the personal care and grooming category. This kind of mindset could bode well for Gillette, as the controversy won’t necessarily sway purchasing decisions in the category but it will put their brand in the news for a few cycles.”

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