Gillette's "We Believe" Campaign Stands Against Toxic Masculinity

By Jack Myers ThinkTank Archives
Cover image for  article: Gillette's "We Believe" Campaign Stands Against Toxic Masculinity

My personal work in masculinity studies makes the new Gillette  "We Believe" campaign personally very gratifying, as I hope it is for everyone.  Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer of P&G and inductee into the Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors at CES last week, credits "the amazing team from Gillette, led by Brand Director Pankaj Bhalla, who have stepped up to take on one of the most important issues of our time -- toxic masculinity."  "["We Believe"] defies the convention that 'boys will be boys,' which is just an excuse for bad behavior," Pritchard says.  "It demonstrates that it's not ok to just stand by … men need to step up to stop harassment, bullying, stereotyping, diminishing and objectification.  Becoming 'the best a man can be' means being part of the solution by moving from inaction to being a role model for positive action for themselves, their loved ones, their peers and for the next generation of men -- and this campaign brings that to life in a powerful way.  I'm so proud of this campaign and of the Gillette team, their partners at Grey and film director Kim Gehrig for redefining what it means to be 'The Best a Man Can Get.'"

The P&G team discovered Gehrig through the company's commitment to #FreeTheBid, whose founder Alma Har'el was also honored as an inductee into the Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors.  Pritchard points to the goal of achieving "50/50 gender equality behind the camera -- and this film gets us one step closer!"

Bhalla, Director, Gillette and Venus North America, explains that "The Best Men Can Be" asks us all whether what we see in the public sphere today is truly the best men can be.  And, more importantly, what positive actions large and small we can all take to make a change.  We're working to both deliver and inspire three clear messages:

  1. Respect and Inclusion -- Demonstrating respect and inclusivity for all;
  2. Accountability -- Ending phrases like 'Boys Will Be Boys' and eliminating the justification of bad behavior; 
  3. Role Modeling -- Inspiring men to help create a new standard for boys to admire.  We want boys to see and admire traits like honesty, integrity, hard work, empathy and respect -- traits men use to define what it means to be a great man."

Gillette introduced "The Best a Man Can Get" campaign thirty years ago.  "This campaign represents a fresh look at what it means to be 'the best' as a man in today's world," Pritchard says.  "Although many examples exist where men are not at their best, we believe in the best in men and that by holding each other accountable, eliminating excuses for bad behavior, and being a role model for a new generation we can deliver positive and lasting change."

To support that effort, Gillette is also launching thebestmencanbe.org with more detail about actions the company is taking.  This includes a commitment to donate at least $1 million each year for the next three years to organizations with programs that help men of all ages achieve their personal "best" -- starting with the Boys & Girls Club of America.  All those who care about the future of gender relationships are encouraged to share the link and tag @gillette on all social platforms.

For further insights into masculinity issues, visit futureofmen.com.

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