What does think of the viral Gillette commercial targeting toxic masculinity?
Gillette's new ad jumping into the debate over "toxic masculinity" has gone viral and generated enormous social debate. However, in terms of helping solve the Pink Tax, the ad is a wolf in sheep’s clothing because the company and its retailers are languishing knee deep in Pink Tax mischief.
The Pink Tax on razors remains the poster child of unacceptable corporate behavior in the consumer products field.The good news is that in light of increasing public awareness and concern over the Pink Tax, traditionally higher prices on women’s razors are under downward pressure, and some women are foregoing shaving altogether as they reject the false narrative that body hair is naturally unfeminine. Mother Nature certainly begs to differ with that false narrative, and you can learn about the women's "januhairy" protest movement here: https://people.com/style/januhairy-encouraging-women-grow-out-body-hair/)
So take a long hard look at the razor company's viral ad:
OK, I've seen the ad and still don't buy it. It's mostly full of men and boys and talks about "The Best a Man Can Be". What makes so sure Gillette's actual goal here is to get women to buy their stuff?
In order to understand Gillette's branding goals in this ad, you first have to understand the general goal of commercials: all ads are congenitally designed to increase corporate sales and profits, even if they capitalize on social issues to do so.
Second, you have to figure out the ad's target audience: which people might be motivated by the ad to buy Gillette's stuff? This ad scares the Dickens out of the vast majority of men, who never behaved like bullies and want to run for cover to avoid what they see as innocent head chopping the likes of which have not been witnessed since the Reign of Terror following the French Revolution.
So at bottom, this commercial is designed to appeal to women and help Gillette sell stuff to women. Like razors.
However, Gillette's "women's" razors still bear a glaring Pink Tax at retail. Take a look at the unit prices of Gillette razor cartridges up for sale in a drug store in New York City on January 18, 2019 while the company's "do-goodie" toxic masculinity ad and the debate over it rage on.
The photos below evidence per-cartridge "unit prices" (in orange) for Gillette men's razors at $2.62, $2.06, $3.12, $2.75, $3.75, $2.80, and $3.00. Disturbingly, the "unit prices" for comparable women's (hello Venus!) razor cartridges are $4.67, $5.50, $6.25, $5.00, $4.17, and $5.00. Kaching!
Gillette lacks moral authority to engage in normative discourse about remedial gender issues until it stops participating in consumer retail behavior that charges women more than men for the same stuff.
So until the company does something genuine to help rectify gender discrimination like end the Pink Tax on its own razors, is putting its own beloved Gillette razor in the drawer for another day.
Gillette, let us know when you put your money where your mouth is!