Brands Active on Sensitive and Political Issues

January 22, 2019

Hi, everyone. Crayton Webb with Sunwest Communications with two minutes of insight from Sunwest today. Just last week we did our 2019 predictions around corporate social responsibility and one of the things that we were predicting is that more corporate brands would be active socially on sensitive or political issues and, sure enough, Gillette just this week put out an ad targeting the whole notion that boys can be boys. The whole idea is that men can be masculine, but it doesn’t mean that harassment or domestic violence uh is okay particularly in light of the Me Too movement. It’s caused a lot of controversy and of course we’ve been talking about it here at the Sunwest office. If you go to YouTube and look at the video uh when we last looked there were more, far more, dislikes of the video than likes because critics were saying that Gillette is taking a position that is attacking masculinity. Well here’s our position at Sunwest purely from a PR perspective.

First, Gillette made a good play because they show that they stand for something. So, for someone that looked at razor blades for example as a commodity it helps make the brand stand out that they stood for something and could help drive loyalty.

Second, relatively speaking it’s a low-risk position. Saying that men can be men but that doesn’t mean that it allows men to behave poorly is not a really risky stake in the ground when you compare it, for example, to what Nike did last year as it related to NFL football players taking a knee during the National Anthem. Low risk versus high risk.

Third, generally speaking consumers have short memories. So, while Gillette’s fans who are already customers likely love this position, the question is is, those who are non-customers, will they really be impacted one way or another? And of course, people do have short memories.

And finally, the reason we think at Sunwest it was a good move from a purely PR perspective is it’s what everyone is talking about. On social media, on broadcast networks, uh in print media, Gillette is the name of the week and they took a stand, a risky stand some might say, on a corporate social responsibility issue. And that’s two minutes of insight here from Sunwest today. Thanks for joining us.