Gillette’s new brand campaign has had more than 2-million views on YouTube since it launched on January 14, and an astounding 10:1 ratio of dislikes to likes. Those who dislike the ad have taken umbrage with Gillette’s stance that all men are bad. The ad showcases every bigoted, bullying type of behaviour you can think of in relation to boorish, chauvinistic males and was always going to elicit strong opinion. Marketing Week columnist Mark Ritson is in the anti camp. He argues that the ad sends a clear message that no men are good enough and all need to improve.

In Gillette’s defence, Ritson points out that the campaign is not an example of strategy gone wrong – the brand’s marketing team clearly had their thinking caps on, but their thinking is somewhat misguided. It’s more of a “tactical failure”, he says. While he lauds Gillette’s 30-year-old pay-off line, “The Best a Man Can Get”, as one of the most impactful and successful in recent history, and commends the team for atte...

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