Gillette Takes a Stand: Toxic Masculinity and #thebestmencanbe

Case Solution

Stefanie Beninger, Karen Robson
Ivey Publishing ()

In early January 2019, Gillette, one of the world’s leading razor brands, sparked controversy with a specific ad in the “We Believe” video. This short film is about toxic masculinity and encourages men to be #TheBestMenCanBe. While Gillette has historically focused on portraying men as athletes or professionally minded individuals, since the late 2010s, the brand’s promotions had evolved into a more diverse conceptualization of masculinity. The “We Believe” video turned out to be extremely polarizing when it was released on YouTube – both consumers and audiences were sharply divided. How could Gillette support social change while remaining competitive in the face of a changing industry and broader social consciousness? Although sales did not change after the ad’s launch, questions remained about Gillette’s reorientation and whether that approach ultimately helped or hindered the brand. What should Gillette do next?

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