Brands Active on Sensitive and Political IssuesJanuary 29, 2019
Over the last few years, corporate brands have become much more active socially on sensitive or political issues. This week, Gillette did just that by producing an ad targeting the notion that boys can be boys. Although this term was used in the past to justify the way boys acted based on their gender, Gillette looked at the old saying from a new perspective. The ad has caused a lot of controversy, and some critics believe it is an attack on masculinity. Here is the position at Sunwest purely from a PR perspective:
Stand for Something
Gillette made a good choice by showing they aren’t afraid to take a stand for something. This is especially important in light of the “Me Too” movement. When consumers relate to a brand and share similar values, they are more likely to show loyalty and stand up for the brand. When you achieve brand loyalty, you have a much better chance at a comeback if you were to incur reputational damage. Build strong relationships when times are good so that you have a better chance at recovery.
They took a low-risk position because, although they said men can be men, it does not mean they should behave poorly. Their whole idea was that men can still be masculine, but it does not mean that sexual harassment or domestic violence is acceptable.
Consumers have short memories, so will noncustomers be impacted either way? With an ad such as this, controversy drives views. The more people view a video, the more it is recommended to other viewers who might not typically view Gillette ads.
Ultimately, from a PR perspective this is a win. Why? This video is something everyone is talking about on social media, broadcast networks and print media. Gillette is the name of the week because they took a stand on a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) issue.