Gillette’s powerful short film is divisive to say the least

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gillette-short-film

Gillette
faces backlash
and boycott over
‘#MeToo advert’

A long time ago kiddies, at an agency far, far… okay it was in Chicago, I worked on a commercial, actually three for Finish Line and Nike with Spike Lee. It featured kids playing football in the streets and kids, well being kids.

Two of the cast were oversized boys who looked like they should be playing football on grass, instead of the blacktop. In one of the spots, an ice cream truck approaches and the two future defensive linemen break with their team and rush to the truck for something tasty in a cone or on a stick.

The campaign, one of the first out of SpikeDDB, was hailed as “great work” portraying kids the way they really are. Then we got a letter (not email, handwritten letter) from a mother in Ohio whose son was overweight. She said she would never buy Nikes again because of the way we portrayed overweight kids.

My long-winded point is, someone is always going to like your ad… and someone is always going to loathe it. This is really the case when the ad is as powerful and disruptive as Gillette’s new short film, from Grey New York, which holds men accountable for their actions.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of its famous tagline ‘The Best a Man Can Get’ the Procter and Gamble brand decided to take a new look at what it means to be ‘the best.’ Hiring Somesuch’s Kim Gehrig, to helm a short docu-style film about it, the The company has dedicated itself to celebrating the stories of men who are making a positive impact and inspiring others in the process.

Titled ‘We Believe,’ it begins with a compilation of actions commonly associated with ‘toxic masculinity.’ More importantly, the short then showcases examples of how men can take actions large and small to create meaningful change for themselves, their loved ones, their peers and set the right example for the next generation of men. Because it’s only by challenging ourselves to do more that we get closer to our best. Watch below:

“Gillette believes in the best in men,” says Gary Coombe, president, P&G Global Grooming. “By holding each other accountable, eliminating excuses for bad behavior, and supporting a new generation working toward their personal ‘best,’ we can help create positive change that will matter for years to come.”

But as is the case with anything strong, there are going to be those who like it and those who get razor burn as you can see from the tweets below:

Anytime a brand attempts to join or even create a conversation, they risk offending some. Right now, the short film has 135K likes and an astounding 435K dislikes. What gets really lost here is that the short film is really a celebration of being a man. Not an ass. But a man.

We will perhaps turn off some of our readers with our decision to make this “Reel Ad of the Week,” but anything out there that is sending a message of essentially, “don’t be a dick” proudly has our support.

 
Credits
CLIENT: Procter and Gamble/Gillette

AGENCY: Grey New York
   EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Joe Mongognia
   CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Patrick Conlon
   GROUP CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Asan Aslam
   ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE: Lindsay Auerbach
   BUSINESS MANAGER: Suzanne Voss (Townhouse)
   WORLDWIDE CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER: John Patroulis
   GLOBAL ACCOUNT DIRECTOR: Brian Weston, Marie Massat, Robert Chedid
   PROJECT MANAGER: Joey Scarillo
   MUSIC PRODUCER: Kurt Steinke (Townhouse)
   PLANNING DIRECTOR: Kristian Henschel
   INTEGRATED PRODUCER: Rondell Wescott (Townhouse)
   ACCOUNT SUPERVISOR: Julie Ressler
   EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Katy Hill (Townhouse)

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Somesuch
   EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Nicky Barnes
   DIRECTOR: Kim Gehrig
   DOP: Adam Arkapaw
   LINE PRODUCER: Saul Germaine

EDIT COMPANY: Cosmo Street
   EDITOR: Joshua Berger + Tom Lindsay
   EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Maura Woodward
   HEAD OF PRODUCTION: Anne Lai

POST PRODUCTION COMPANY: MPC
   COLOURIST: Mark Gethin
   VFX SUPERVISOR: Thiago Porto
   PRODUCER: Aiste Akelaityte
   CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Alvin Cruz
   COLOUR EP: Meghan Lang
   2D LEAD: Rob Ufer
   FLAME ARTIST: Joey Deady + John Shafto
   COLOUR PRODUCER: Rebecca Boors
   EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Matthew Loranger

MUSIC COMPANY: Future Perfect Music
   COMPOSER: John Connolly, Adam Hochstatter, Ben Pacheco
   EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Maxwell Gosling
   ARRANGER: Victor Magro

SOUND COMPANY: Heard City
   SOUND ENGINEER: Keith Reynaud
   EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Gloria Pitagorsky
   ASSISTANT ENGINEER: Tom Morris

 
Contact Colin Costello at colin@reelchicago.com or follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.

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