Gillette Takes a Stand: Toxic Masculinity and #thebestmencanbe
In early January 2019, Gillette, one of the world's leading razor brands, ignited controversy with a specific advertisement-the "We Believe" video. This short film tackled toxic masculinity and encouraged men to be #TheBestMenCanBe. While Gillette historically focused on portraying men as athletes or as career-oriented individuals, the brand's promotions since the late 2010s had turned to a more diverse conceptualization of manhood. When launched on YouTube, the "We Believe" video proved to be extremely polarizing: both consumers and the general public were strongly divided on it. How could Gillette support social change while remaining competitive in light of the changing industry and broader social awareness? Though sales did not change following the release of the ad, questions still remained about Gillette's new direction and whether this approach ultimately helped or hindered its brand. What should Gillette do next? Stefanie Beninger is affiliated with IE Business School. Karen Robson is affiliated with University of Windsor.