Opinion: Is the new Gilette Ad Tone Deaf?
The Gilette ad that's making the rounds has got me thinking. I've put it here in case you haven't seen it yet:
At first, I thought, hey, check it out, someone had the balls to tackle this issue from the men's perspective. I'm purposely using patriarchal-heteronormative nomenclature here in an ironic way. While I think men definitely need to be part of this conversation, in order to balance it out and create a dialogue. I'm not sure if this is the way. The reason being a post by my brilliant friend Eleanor Tisch, linked here on FaceBook.
If you aren’t going to read it, and you should, the gist of it being that companies like Gilette have specifically targeted Women in their advertising in order to make them feel less than, whole, perfect, and beautiful, to profit off their now internalized insecurities. If you don't know about the Woman or Pink Tax, check this article out from Forbes. So not only are women paid less, charged more, discriminated against and harassed in countless other ways, but then they have to deal with tone-deaf stuff like this.
It's no wonder we haven't had a gender strike across all industry. Gilette really knocked this one out of the park by adding insult to injury. I think perhaps part of the problem is that this ad wasn't the result of a dialogue between men and women, at least that's the way it reads. I'm also not sure if inviting women to the table when this ad was being planned would have helped, because there's so much inherent bias present across the globe.
I'd like to think that a global brand, that is more gender neutral, could have pulled this off better, but which brand? Apple? Nike? Could any of these brands have done a better job? I doubt it. That's indicative of how systemic this issue is and how much effort is needed to create true equality for all people in all ways. I’d love to hear feedback from anyone who wants to give it.