Gillette shifts focus after ‘toxic masculinity’ backlash with new Australian TVC via Havas S&E


Razor brand Gillette says it is “shifting the spotlight from social issues to local heroes” after an ad delving into “toxic masculinity” caused a customer backlash, according to this report by Frank Chung.


The new ad stars Australian firefighter and personal trainer Ben Ziekenheiner. “I’ve been a firefighter for 19 years,” Mr Ziekenheiner says in the ad.

“People sometimes ask if it’s scary. It can be, but like anyone who has a job to do, you prepare — not just in terms of your equipment but also mentally and physically.”

The ad spruiks the brand’s SkinGuard range, highlighting the issue of sensitive skin for men who shave every day — including firefighters, who are required to be clean-shaven as it enables a proper seal for their breathing mask.

“We have a very clear strategy when it comes to how we authentically connect with our consumers,” said Manu Airan, associate brand director for Gillette Australia and New Zealand.

“We will continue to talk about what is important to Gillette and that is representing men at their best and helping men do their best. That is not changing. We will continue to do that and demonstrate it in different ways.”

Parent company P&G last month took a nearly $12 billion ($US8 billion) writedown in the value of the 118-year-old shaving business it purchased in 2005 for $84 billion ($US57 billion).

While the company blamed the writedown primarily on a strengthening US dollar, it said the non-cash impairment charge was also due to increased competition and a shrinking market for razors as men shave less frequently. Continue reading on…

View the old “We Believe” spot, that launched in January here:


Client: P&G (Gillette ANZ)
Agency: Havas Sports & Entertainment
General Manager/Executive Producer: Francis Coady
Executive Creative Director: Nick Snelling
Director: Andrew Flakelar
Producer: Katerina Loizou (One Green Bean Agency)
Account Director: Patrick Millington Buck
Cinematographer: Matt Toll
Editor: Beau Simmons
Colourist: Matt Fezz
Sound Design: Matt Perrott (Uncanny Valley Sound Studio)
Music: Jonny Higgins