Get woke, go broke? Gillette’s ‘toxic masculinity’ ad via Grey New York haunts P&G as shaving giant takes US$8 billion writedown
Gillette’s infamous “toxic masculinity” ad may cost Procter & Gamble more than anyone imagined in January, reports The Washington Times.
The year that Gillette launched its “We Believe” campaign and asked “Is this the best a man can get?” has coincided with P&G’s $8 billion non-cash writedown for the shaving giant.
Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller attributed much of the losses on “new competitors” offering “prices below the category average,” Reuters reported.
Observers such as Red State’s Brandon Morse responded by essentially likening the public stance to a lie by omission — the “toxic masculinity” ad punctuated news cycles for weeks and was repeatedly mocked on social media.
“Perhaps P&G isn’t willing to come forward yet with the fact that they made a monumental error in assuming men would take the ‘toxic masculinity’ commercial well, but they should soon,” Mr. Morse wrote Wednesday for the conservative website. “The brand is damaged enough to lose billions, and men aren’t coming back, especially with cheaper alternatives embracing men for who they are and not assuming the worst about them.”
The negative commentary from Twitter in January includes:
“Get woke, go broke. Stick to selling razors.”
“When did shaving have to get political?”
“Do we really need ‘woke razors?’”
“How to irreparably damage a brand in under 120 seconds: A Documentary.”
“Cringe shaving commercial. See this is actually genius. What Gillette is doing here is trying to lower our testosterone to the point we won’t have to shave anymore.”
I thought everyone who cane around to Gillette because of this ad, was going to buy $10000 worth of product?
Wait – you mean that they didn’t actually buy any because likes, shares and backslaps aren’t currency? I’m shocked.
Not sure the ad is directly responsible for an 8 billion dollar loss of a much broader consumer goods company that is still worth 65 billion dollars.
No, PG is worth a lot more. You have simply quoted the sales figures for the Group for last year.
For fin year 2018, P&G turned over approx $67 billion
Grooming (all products), which primarily includes Gillete, accounts for around 10% of revenue, say $6.7 billion. The $8 billion is not a loss, but a writedown in value, or a reduction in the book value of assets; hence, and whilst the company is doing ok across the board, this is still a heavy hit for a segment that accounts for 10 % of their business.
Probably many factors involved, though I am sure they took a hit in the US with the running of the ad
I am sure. The vast majority of men deplore the woke toxic masculinity movement promoted by the left and the idiotic LGBTQ thing. Most men are pretty normal.
We use clippers.
Can’t think of a guy I know under 50 who uses a razor.
I do and literally the majority of people I know do. (At least the ones who can grow a significant amount of facial hair)
See? All the younger guys are no longer masculine enough to need a razor.
Cadbury was a good Aussie example of big brands trying to jump on a cause that they probably shouldn’t have. Lucky it had no spend behind it or it could have had a lo$$
Or, you know, just do it properly instead of half-arsing it. https://www.maxim.com/sports/nike-stock-all-time-high-2018-9
Not a good example. The Nike “All time high” was extremely brief due to a flood of black American surging (briefly) to buy Nike after the kneeling ad, which the woke media ONLY took into accound. It didn’t last long and the company lost a good deal more than they gained
… people cared about advertising this much.
Definitely nothing to do with new competition
Or changing behaviours
Or one of the other millions of factors that influence this gigantic global business
Nope, it was the ad.
I am sure there are many factors
However, take the US market with Trump getting over the line and the bitter war of left / right on Twitter and elsewhere. Only need a small percentage of the US market to have a decent hit on sales.
This ad was at saturation point via social media, so discount the reasons at your own peril. Or, and if you are in the sector, why not try and make an ad along the same lines. prepared to take the risk?
It seems highly unlikely that the ad had no effect. I vowed never again to buy their stuff, and have stuck to it. I very much doubt I am alone in this.
So did I and the same for all other P&G, crest etc etc.
You got that right buddy. Like most men I expanded the boycott to p&g products for life. I’m done with them for life. Let them sell their shavers to a little girls if they think that’ll work.
No you are not alone , to this day I refuse to buy Gillette products
It’s toxic beard culture that’s the big problem here
..how often people struggle to accurately determine an ROI on advertising.
Unless it is a loss.
• The loss happened directly after the ad run. Now we can’t attribute the success of brands after they run certain TVCs, so why not the loss?
• Massive backlash in the states, surprisingly from women most of all.
• If you take the piss out of your target market and they respond positively, well at least you know they have a sense of humor. If you demonise them, you’re dead in the fucking water.
• Point above sounds stupid, but it’s true.
And here I was thinking it was lesbians refusing to shave.
Just deserts. Enough with the demonizing men already.
I’ve not bought any since the ad. It’s good to see guys quietly fighting back against the absurb generalising. PC groups can’t stand generalising but had no problem doing it to men particularly white men
Just when you thought the Pespi poop couldn’t be topped for hitting new lows, this shizzle hits the airwaves. I personally won’t be using their product again, not cos I’m offended, I just needed a reason to go to the cheaper brands without feeling like a cheapskate. I could always just use a cut-throat and hopefully hit the jugular, just so that I never have to see this shit again. 🙂
What could possibly go wrong with alienating and insulting your main customer base? On the plus side, this campaign has probably attracted some young SJW warriors who live in Mommy’s basement and have no money to buy Gillette products.
Well. Let’s just see what happens to Gillette’s sales in the next quarter, okay?
I hardly Care enough about Gillette to even comment. But I Will never ever buy a Gillette produkt again.
Neither Will any man I have spoken to.
Its not just that its overprised and overrated.
Its more that I do not want or need pseudo-academic biased People hired to sell me aproduct I Can get as good and cheaper what to do, Think or feel.
They are utterly insignificant and irrelevant to me.
And I am not paying for politics when buying a razor.
Since the ad I have abandoned Gillette in favor of a classic safety razor setup. I take special precautions not to buy P&G owned classic shaving products.
I’m still pissed about the ad after a year and if you think I’m an outlier I suggest you revisit the comment box on YouTube. The dislikes have been frozen at 1.6 million for many months now. Comments are quickly deleted but their are still thousands of men who often revisit the video just to trash it.
I also personally write hate emails to P&G customer service just for fun.
The only thing a Gillette razor is appropriate for is slicing off your own penis and testicles.
Hate Gillette for life
I used Gillette for 30 years haven’t bought since that AD Costco Kirkland Razors 9/10
Gillette is a dead brand to me from now on. I would have most likely kept using their products for the rest of my life if it weren’t for that incredibly insulting ad. Because of that ad I will never buy their products ever again. Every guy I know feels the same way (and yes, we still talk about how much that ad sucks years later).
I bought a OneBlade shaver from Phillips and am good to go now. Companies all around the world are taking hits from trying to go ‘woke’ (aka politically correct), Hollywood lost massive money over woke flops like Terminator: Dark Fate, all-female Ghostbusters, Charlie’s Angels, Birds of Prey, etc but still they don’t understand that men hate being mocked and humiliated.
Gillette, You created one of the cringiest abomanations in TV history with that ad. You deserve the ridicule.
I was in the military and shaved every day with their product for nearly 25 years. What I don’t need is a company jamming their version of morality down my throat. Haven’t bought a P&G product since. I like being toxic and masculine…now go f@$* yourself!
December 2020 & guess what P&G all your brands and dead & gone in my life & every male l know, we won’t forget, not now not ever – Go Woke & if we can we will send you broke
Fuck You Gillette & all P&G products, used them for 40 years but haven’t since the add and will never forget or buy again
It’s April 2021 and I feel the same about Gillette and O&G today as I did after their hate campaign on men.. I’m 52.. you’ve lost a potential 30yrs of sales. My son who is 14 feels the same way. Now go **** ****selves..
I was buying occassionaly their products, not very often, but still few times a year. Since that ad I’ve made a solution to never again buy anything from GIlette and I surely limited also buying other P&G products. F* them. I am lectured enough and I do not need to be lectured even in f* advertisements.
It’s amazing, the thought processes here. Yeah, let’s insult the main consumers of our brand. Gillette’s at fault for hiring Grey Advertising and following their bad advice. Goodbye Gillette, hello Schick.
Just wanted to ad my voice that p&g wont be getting any of my money, A little sad because Gillette owns Astra platinum, i guess i will stop using Astra too now.what a shame.
I just buy Hairy’s razors and shaving gel. Unlike P&G they don’t test on animals, and to my knowlesge don’t use ads deriding their customer base. This should be a wake up call for consumers. Buying from mega conglomerates like P&G doesn’t benefit the consumers. They overcharge, release poorly developed products, and usually treat their consumer base and animals like garbage.
A form of mental cancer.
I’m only one shopper but I haven’t bought a Gillette product since that commercial and won’t be any time soon.
Gillette and P&G is now part of the cancer that’s within our society, that cancer being demonising men by going “woke”. What a great company, Samantha in marketing who’s got a short hair cut and vocalises daily that she hates men, has an idea to demonise and degrade the entire company’s target market, the people who pay their wage lol. Like who the fuck approved that ad? I really do hope some on the board and the execs terminated employees contracts that where involved in not just the creation but the planning and design of that ad, not that it matters now because there’s no way you’re going to be able to regain the customer base they’ve lost, all because the marketing team wanted to go “woke” 😂😂😂
I bought Gillette razors for 40 years. I also bought them for my sons. When the ad came out we switched to safety razors and haven’t looked back.
Refuse to ever by Gillette anything anymore. Maybe stop buying anything P&G. I will boycott any product that claims to be woke . When someone wants you to be ashamed of the color of your skin or gender why would you even consider buying their products. If we don’t stand strong against this bullshit now. What follows will be worse then slow joe Biden. If your not smart enough to know how bad this guy is then your the idiots the go woke movement is counting on to help destroy our country.
30 years buying but never again, no P&G products in my house – Go Woke then go f&&k yourself. 2022 and still not happy and not going to forget or forgive.
Anyone offended by this ad should just wear a T shirt advertising that they have a tiny Weiner …pS ..to all the guys that bullied me in jr hi ..I’m now banging your 25 to 35 year old sons😂😂
Hope you fat aids dude
I’ll wait for the purveyors of wokeness to balance things by discussing toxic feminism. I won’t hold my breath….
Found Harry’s razors at Costco where we used to buy Fusion blades and am delighted with them. Sharper to begin with (vs. Fusion), they stay sharp far longer than the original (quite good) Fusion (before the cost cutters at P&G turned them to crap). Probably Woke bean counters…
I have not forgiven them for that to this day!
If you make a good product and quality is consistent and reliable and you have nationwide recognition, then just make good products that basically sell themselves, stand on quality and value and leave the rest of it be.
It’s 2023, and to add insult to injury, all Gillette double edge safety razor blades are made in Russia. No more Gillettes nor Astras to me. I got a sample pack and german Wilks are the winners by now.
This ad will be on the first paragraph of “Stupid Things Not To Be Done” chapter of every marketing textbook (toghether with the “New Coke Flavour”, maybe).
I only bought Mach 3 heads at over 3 bucks each. Added up to $600+ a year. Haven’t bought a single one since this ad.