We Can All Learn Something From Gillette

Gillette is one of the largest male brands in the world, but for the last few years, Dollar Shave Club has been pulling away Gillette’s customers one by one with their cheap, and delivered to your door razors. A few weeks ago Gillette was a brand on the brink of death and they needed some serious CPR. So they tried something new, and it definitely brought them back to life.

Last week, Gillette released a new ad calling out “toxic masculinity” that encouraged men to hold each other accountable for bullying and sexual harassment. They changed Gillette’s long- time tagline, “The Best A Man Can Get”, to “The Best A Man Can Be”. As you can imagine, this ad was immediately talked about, a lot. SNL even parodied the ad with the straight-talking tone of Gillette’s ad to address a generation of “red-lipped” Kool-Aid men raised to believe they can just barge in wherever they feel like.

As of January 22, the ad has over 24 million views. 689,000 likes and 1.2 million dislikes. Critics claim the ad is labeling all men and masculinity as bad in a failed attempt to maintain brand relevance. In the heat of the #MeToo era, this ad has polarized many by touching on a very sensitive issue in a very aggressive way. Representatives from P&G say the ad was trying to encourage men as a collective group to have a little less bad behavior and a little more good. And to that point, they’re donating one million dollars per year, for the next three, to nonprofits in the US that work with men to tackle some of these issues.

I’m not here to judge whether the campaign is morally right or wrong. Or whether it is good or bad. In fact, whether I think it’s good or bad or wrong or right is completely irrelevant. Because guess what? I am not the target. And I suspect that the 50+ men who are the most offended aren’t either.  But we do have to acknowledge that it certainly has been effective in bringing this brand back to life.

According to social monitoring from a week ago, right after the ad was released, social media sentiment was overwhelmingly negative, actually at 63 percent. Men were net negative toward the ad, while women were net positive. White people viewed the ad much more negatively than other ethnic groups.

Since nearly 50 percent of millennials said they “would be more willing to make a purchase from a company if their purchase supports a cause,” there is a market for brands to be making the kind of statements Gillette did with this ad. 34 percent of online placements of Gillette’s ad targeted people 19 to 24 up from 11 percent for their prior social ads, even more surprisingly 51 percent of targets were female. They clearly were targeting young people and women that may be the ones actually purchasing the razors. And it is starting to look like they actually won the battle social media sentiment battle among people under 50 years old.

I-Factor® quantifies a brand’s consumer relationship with data, uncovers the ‘whys’ behind the data through metaphor elicitation, and allows you to watch the relationship in real time through our social listening component. Our platform I-Factor quantifies the positive and negative chatter around Gillette and today, Gillette’s positive sentiment is actually at least 10 points higher and sometimes up to 20 more than the negative. It’s overall score, that combines Comprehend, Crave, and Craze scores is actually the same as that big competitor Dollar Shave Club. While other competitors, like Bic and Schick, are 15 points lower.

One week ago, Gillette was just another brand fighting irrelevance, but now it feels like everyone is talking about them. I-Factor® shows us they’ve connected with their much needed new audience and the brand is on the rise.

If you want to learn about your brand’s I-Factor score and find out how we can help increase that positive chatter we’re all craving, we can help, let’s talk.

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