What did we learn from the Gillette ad?

Now that the hype has died down, did we learn anything?

When Gillette’s “We Believe” advertisement went viral, was it really nothing more than a cynical marketing ploy? Did it really backfire like its critics say?

What did Gillette learn? What did we learn?

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We learned that Gillette deleted an astounding 34 percent of the ad’s comments on YouTube, a figure that some consider the highest relative comment delete on any 1 million or more commented video in YouTube’s history.

We learned that Gillette’s sales haven’t been affected yet, though that’s hard to determine at this point. Razors are often bought on very long purchase cycles, so a definitive sales conclusion can’t fully be realized until months from now.

We learned that the pot does indeed call the kettle black. Thousands on social media pointed to a past Gillette sponsorship photo whereby women wore tight-fitting blue jumpsuits with Gillette’s logo featured across their behinds.

We learned that there have been calls for boycotts of Gillette. One has to wonder what fans and players of the New England Patriots think about their stadium being sponsored by Procter & Gamble’s top razor brand.

gillette4.jpgIn the end, the campaign received considerable attention, but it also drew heavy criticism by suggesting that good men are in the minority. It even took aim at boys seeing bikinis on TV (like, think how all of us will be subjected to that during Super Bowl commercials) and roughhousing on the ground.

Caring isn’t feminine, and leadership isn’t masculine. The bad apples involved in the high-profile, celebrity #MeToo culture doesn’t mean that the entire bunch is spoiled. Everyone gets that toxic masculinity is a bad form of masculinity, but it’s not as prevalent as Gillette insinuates. Look around you, most men are decent men. And the boys of today are its customers of tomorrow.

The male-shaming of Gillette’s ad demoralizes and labels its very customer base. It’s hard to imagine a scenario whereby Gillette would run a similar female-shaming ad telling women they’re not good enough, and that they need to do better. Lost in Gillette’s well-intentioned piece was a message that stereotyped, emasculated and demeaned the far majority of an entire gender.

Gillette’s pledge “to actively challenge the stereotypes and expectations of what it means to be a man” is a lofty one. It’s operated by a parent company that has a troubling history of ads and social media which thrive off old-fashioned notions of masculinity and femininity.

We learned that Gillette has work to do. And it starts today.

 

When you don’t even realize you’re being sexist

If you haven’t heard of What’s Up Moms – you should. It claims to be the #1 moms channel on YouTube, and that’s no small feat.

This groups of mom friends aims to produce short, funny videos geared toward women, and throughout it all has been featured nationally while garnering over 550,000 subscribers.

whatsupmoms3There are plenty of items to watch, but check out the video titled, “Dad’s First Time Alone With Baby.”

If you can get past the fact that this sketch is one long commercial for GLAD Press ‘n Seal, you’ll find a video that generally offers a warm, clever look at a dad’s ingenuity and resourcefulness. We enjoy how its creators celebrate the fact that dads parent different.

That’s refreshing and important to see!

However, the title – “Dad’s First Time Alone With Baby” – certainly implies something different doesn’t it?

It implies that dad isn’t an equal parent, and that mom is in charge when it comes to raising children.

That title would have never been written about a mom; imagine: “Mom’s First Time Alone With Baby.” Thus, its current title comes across as sexist and demeaning.

So does mom’s question to dad and baby at the beginning of the video: “Are you sure you guys are gonna be ok?”

Would anyone ever question whether mom could handle a baby alone for the first time or not? Why turn it into an event, and why make it an issue with dads?

The only time someone should ever utter the phrase, “Dad’s first time alone with baby,” is when it’s one of these tearjerking, soldier-meets-baby-for-the-first-time moments.

This video’s sexist approach is so wrong, we’d like to see the title changed and the beginning of the video edited. Keep the funny, just not at dad’s expense.

How about it, What’s Up Moms?

With great power comes great responsibility

I realize the Internet has blurred some of the rules of journalism, but the media still has a certain amount of duty and youtubebabyaccountability.

After what I saw online today, People magazine clearly feels none of it.

Polish dad Bartosz Fórmanski YouTubed a charming video of him placing fake facial hair on his baby, and titled it, “What happens when my wife leaves me alone with our baby.” Although his YouTube name is “Perfect Daddy,” the video simply looks like a dad having fun with his baby. Nothing more.

People magazine wrote about the video on its website, yet interpreted it by making dads out to be the negligent, undependable, butt-of-jokes parent with the irresponsible title, “Here’s Why You Don’t Leave Dad Alone with the Baby.”

People doesn’t appear to have interviewed Bartosz, but decides anyway to make assumptions merely from his headline alone.

It could be that Bartosz is just a funny guy. Perhaps he’s a perpetual practical jokester. Or, maybe it’s just a dad having harmless fun.

But People would rather take the lazy approach and use tired comic relief by reshaping the unknown meaning Bartosz’s YouTube title, making dad out to be the sorry excuse for a parent. Yep, here’s another example of why we can’t leave dads with kids. Clearly, dads aren’t serious parents like mom! They’re only assistants as best!

Why did People have to turn innocent fun into reckless headline writing?

I guess when it gets right down to it, it really doesn’t know, uh, people.