New Gillette commercial "not an indictment on manhood"

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Saelune:
I am glad Nike did their thing with Kaepernick. I still don't buy anything from Nike.

They have the most comfortable sneakers though. And they look good. Everything else is pretty meh.

The ad isn't an indictment of manhood, but the reaction kind of is.

Before anyone gets upset by this statement, I am fully aware the #notallmen. I'm not saying "all men are bad" or something like that. but when you encourage men to be better and the vocal response is "what? how dare you????" it kind of emphasises the problem.

Saelune:
Because it pisses off shitty people.

This is, incidentally, more or less why the ad exists.

Gillette doesn't give a crap, in all likelihood, about men being toxic or being better. They care about selling razors, and when shitty people gewt pissed off, they tend to turn into free promotion. "Angry misogynists screech about razors hurting their fragile masculinity" likely won't alienate tas many people as it will market to.

And since they charge more for ladies' razors, they may specifically have been hoping to capture more women with tis ad, but I don't know.

ObsidianJones:
Look, I like the actual message. Bullshit like bullying, sexual abuse, unwarranted attacks, and raising our boys to be monsters has to stop. No question.

However, I severely doubt Gillette actually cares. It's a stunt, like Nike did with Kaepernick. Why are people paying so much focus on this?

Because, ultimately, capitalism follows the money, and targets the demographics/movements they consider as being 'the most valuable', and the fact the advert goes a for a 'social justice' angle is pointing out loudly where Gillette (and a lot of other brands) think The Money is.

And a lot of the ANGRY sorts are used to being 'The Most Valuable' and being pandered to as such. As such, they thought Capitalism was The Best Thing Ever BECAUSE they were pandered too, and treated as the ONLY market in some cases.

That they aren't anymore... paints a picture they don't like.

Ok, a lot of answers. Feeling a might popular all of a sudden.

Let me clarify.

I don't get why people are paying so much attention to this. This is no different than the PSA of the past.

911 Pizza delivery, Sexual Harassment, Homosexual Tormenting, Bullying (can someone explain to me why people had a problem with Gingers?)... this sort of thing has been a part of our landscape since we've had media. In all forms.

What I don't get is why all of a sudden, the same people who watched those PSAs in the past are even responding today. Literally, a year or two ago no one gave a damn. Now, everyone is in a tizzy because a razor company is doing something we've been doing for years. Why the hell is this ad so inflammatory?

Is it because Weinstein and Cosby were taken down and now some men feel like they are vulnerable? I don't get why they are now focusing on it instead of ignoring it like they always did.

What I don't get is why people are acting like this is some sudden sea change.

CM156:

CyanCat47:

CM156:
I'm not going to buy razors from any company that doesn't make its stance on the expulsion of Cham Albanians clear.

Cham Albanians? Dare I even ask what that means?

They're a group of Albanians that hail from northern Greece who were expelled after WWII on charges of collaboration with the Axis. Many have wanted to exercise a "right of return" in the aftermath of the end of communist Albania but have not been permitted and the Greek government isn't likely to compromise.

trunkage:

CyanCat47:

Cham Albanians? Dare I even ask what that means?

So Chams were a mix with Greeks and lived at the top of Greece. They were vilified and were deported to interment camps at the start of WW2. Once Italy took over, they helped Italy. This made them hated by the rest of Greece and they ran to Albania.
Since then, they have asked to return ro Greece but no dice. I don't know recent history of the Chams so maybe that's what's offensive. But I'm not anti Cham at this time

I just picked one of the most obscure issues I know about in order to make a comment about our expectations that companies take sides in cultural conflicts/issues.

Ah. I think you might have needed a j/k there. Unfortunately I knew little of their issues and just assume there was one.

Dreiko:

On the other hand, if someone intends something as an uplifting video and fumbles, it's still an uplifting video, a bad one, but an uplifting video nonetheless. Hence, I can't actually get mad at it, as I don't have any expectations of competence at all from these corporations outside of the expectation of worthlessness so I was already expecting nothing more than something like this. Not something that's worth wasting your time on.

That's less true than you might think. Poor execution can undermine and even completely sabotage the intended meaning of something. For illustrative purposes, one need look no further than Folgers infamous "Brother and Sister" commercial. What was wrong with that ad, you ask? Well suffice it to say that it is perhaps more commonly known "that Folgers incest commercial", due to the perceived sexual tension between the two leads undermining the wholesome family reunion that the commercial was going for. Similarly, one can look at a certain Pepsi ad starring Kendall Jenner, which officially was "trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding", but was widely perceived as trying to appropriate protests such as Black Lives Matter, and consequentially it was also seen as trivializing them. The sheer tone-deafness of the commercial all but obliterated its intended meaning.

Alternatively, there was an ad in Budweiser's "Up for anything" campaign which described the product as - and I quote - "the perfect beer for removing 'no' from your vocabulary for the night". Now in the obviously intended context, that's a variation of "up for whatever"...but it also has a downright terrifying second meaning perhaps best explained by the phrase "no means no yes"; ie, it evoked the use of alcohol for date rape. And this once again eclipses the intended meaning.

The point of all this is that your intent doesn't always match what you actually communicate. Depending on execution, you can actually imply a meaning completely contrary to your intent. To be quippy about it, what you say matters far less than what you convey. This is especially true in Marketing which deals so strongly in perception.

trunkage:

CM156:

CyanCat47:

Cham Albanians? Dare I even ask what that means?

They're a group of Albanians that hail from northern Greece who were expelled after WWII on charges of collaboration with the Axis. Many have wanted to exercise a "right of return" in the aftermath of the end of communist Albania but have not been permitted and the Greek government isn't likely to compromise.

trunkage:
So Chams were a mix with Greeks and lived at the top of Greece. They were vilified and were deported to interment camps at the start of WW2. Once Italy took over, they helped Italy. This made them hated by the rest of Greece and they ran to Albania.
Since then, they have asked to return ro Greece but no dice. I don't know recent history of the Chams so maybe that's what's offensive. But I'm not anti Cham at this time

I just picked one of the most obscure issues I know about in order to make a comment about our expectations that companies take sides in cultural conflicts/issues.

Ah. I think you might have needed a j/k there. Unfortunately I knew little of their issues and just assume there was one.

I mean, there's still an issue in regards to the fact that they and many of their descendants want to return to Greece or be compensated for their lost property, but the Greeks aren't willing to give them either. I would point out the precedents set by the Partitioning of the British Raj, the Nakba/Arab Expulsion of Jews, along with the removal of ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe is one that doesn't bode well for them. Considering these all happened at about the same time.

Windknight:

And a lot of the ANGRY sorts are used to being 'The Most Valuable' and being pandered to as such. As such, they thought Capitalism was The Best Thing Ever BECAUSE they were pandered too, and treated as the ONLY market in some cases.

That they aren't anymore... paints a picture they don't like.

I feel like the last decade has just been this fight over and over and over and over again.

Whether it's movies, sports, Tv, and especially videogames. Groups (mostly straight white men) have been struggling when they realize they're not the sole audience anymore.

ObsidianJones:
Ok, a lot of answers. Feeling a might popular all of a sudden.

Let me clarify.

I don't get why people are paying so much attention to this. This is no different than the PSA of the past.

911 Pizza delivery, Sexual Harassment, Homosexual Tormenting, Bullying (can someone explain to me why people had a problem with Gingers?)... this sort of thing has been a part of our landscape since we've had media. In all forms.

What I don't get is why all of a sudden, the same people who watched those PSAs in the past are even responding today. Literally, a year or two ago no one gave a damn. Now, everyone is in a tizzy because a razor company is doing something we've been doing for years. Why the hell is this ad so inflammatory?

Is it because Weinstein and Cosby were taken down and now some men feel like they are vulnerable? I don't get why they are now focusing on it instead of ignoring it like they always did.

No, it is different than all of those. All of those PSA's target a behavior that's bad. This one targets a whole gender. I think people have unnecessarily combined those concepts and seen this ad as trying to target a gender that's bad. Which is silly, there's no reason to see it that way....

...but, I also think they triggered the internet outrage machine on purpose. By putting Ana Kasparian in the middle of it, they were probably fishing for backlash. The Young Turks aren't exactly an apolitical entity, so the conservative part of the internet was meant to be soured by it.

ObsidianJones:
(can someone explain to me why people had a problem with Gingers?)

It's a holdover from when anti-Irish racism was really common.

renegade7:

ObsidianJones:
(can someone explain to me why people had a problem with Gingers?)

It's a holdover from when anti-Irish racism was really common.

You can't be racist against white people. That's silly. You're silly.

This is just......pathetic.

All this talk and bluster from an advert from a company that makes shaving products.

How long until we politicize brooms?

tstorm823:

ObsidianJones:
Ok, a lot of answers. Feeling a might popular all of a sudden.

Let me clarify.

I don't get why people are paying so much attention to this. This is no different than the PSA of the past.

911 Pizza delivery, Sexual Harassment, Homosexual Tormenting, Bullying (can someone explain to me why people had a problem with Gingers?)... this sort of thing has been a part of our landscape since we've had media. In all forms.

What I don't get is why all of a sudden, the same people who watched those PSAs in the past are even responding today. Literally, a year or two ago no one gave a damn. Now, everyone is in a tizzy because a razor company is doing something we've been doing for years. Why the hell is this ad so inflammatory?

Is it because Weinstein and Cosby were taken down and now some men feel like they are vulnerable? I don't get why they are now focusing on it instead of ignoring it like they always did.

All of those PSA's target a behavior that's bad. This one targets a whole gender.

What, explicitly, does this add do that means it "targets a whole gender." Just because the some actions of some men were pointed out as wrong doesn't mean all men were being "targeted."

Here Comes Tomorrow:

renegade7:

ObsidianJones:
(can someone explain to me why people had a problem with Gingers?)

It's a holdover from when anti-Irish racism was really common.

You can't be racist against white people. That's silly. You're silly.

Fun fact, once upon a time, a lot of white Americans did not consider Irish, Scottish and Italian people as being 'white'. They were 'invading immigrant' minorities ruining the place. By the same token, they could go back to being 'not white' if certain factions get their way and they run out of certain other groups to bully and harass.

renegade7:

ObsidianJones:
(can someone explain to me why people had a problem with Gingers?)

It's a holdover from when anti-Irish racism was really common.

And Scots. And before then, Jews. Hating red hair has got a long and really embarrassingly stupid history.

Windknight:
Fun fact, once upon a time, a lot of white Americans did not consider Irish, Scottish and Italian people as being 'white'. They were 'invading immigrant' minorities ruining the place. By the same token, they could go back to being 'not white' if certain factions get their way and they run out of certain other groups to bully and harass.

And in WW2, the Germans considered Slavs not Aryan white.

And way back in the dim distant days of earlier today, white Eastern Europeans weren't considered the same as white Anglo-Saxons.

Thaluikhain:

renegade7:

ObsidianJones:
(can someone explain to me why people had a problem with Gingers?)

It's a holdover from when anti-Irish racism was really common.

And Scots. And before then, Jews. Hating red hair has got a long and really embarrassingly stupid history.

Windknight:
Fun fact, once upon a time, a lot of white Americans did not consider Irish, Scottish and Italian people as being 'white'. They were 'invading immigrant' minorities ruining the place. By the same token, they could go back to being 'not white' if certain factions get their way and they run out of certain other groups to bully and harass.

And in WW2, the Germans considered Slavs not Aryan white.

And way back in the dim distant days of earlier today, white Eastern Europeans weren't considered the same as white Anglo-Saxons.

They have considered Slavs as subhuman even before World War 1 began.

You should hear the very flattering comments the Austrian Duke Ferdinand said about Serbians.

Avnger:

What, explicitly, does this add do that means it "targets a whole gender." Just because the some actions of some men were pointed out as wrong doesn't mean all men were being "targeted."

I didn't mean targeted as a synonym for attacked. I meant targeted as in focused on. I'll flip my words here and repeat for more clarity.

tstorm823:

All of those PSA's focus on a behavior that's bad. This one focuses on a whole gender. I think people have unnecessarily combined those concepts and seen this ad as trying to focus on a gender that's bad.

This is an ad about men, directed at men, calling for change in men. Men are the subject and the audience. Those old PSAs are about bullying. etc. This one is about men. The fact that this ad feels the need to include "some men already do the right things" where it would be silly for the other ads to say "some bosses don't sexually harass female employees" is a good illustration that the subject here is broader than the specific behaviors. It's not a bad thing, just a distinction.

Windknight:

Here Comes Tomorrow:

renegade7:

It's a holdover from when anti-Irish racism was really common.

You can't be racist against white people. That's silly. You're silly.

Fun fact, once upon a time, a lot of white Americans did not consider Irish, Scottish and Italian people as being 'white'. They were 'invading immigrant' minorities ruining the place. By the same token, they could go back to being 'not white' if certain factions get their way and they run out of certain other groups to bully and harass.

As a Scot living in Ireland; I know.

The commercial calls out the douchebags. I didn't expect any other reaction from douchebags being called out than this backlash.

ObsidianJones:
Look, I like the actual message. Bullshit like bullying, sexual abuse, unwarranted attacks, and raising our boys to be monsters has to stop. No question.

However, I severely doubt Gillette actually cares. It's a stunt, like Nike did with Kaepernick. Why are people paying so much focus on this?

Because it's being said in a territory that supposedly belongs to manly man. Gillette may not care and they definitely aren't the first to say all that about bulling, sexual abuse and "boys being boys" being bullshit; but usually it's said in places that such douches don't care about.

Something Amyss:
The ad isn't an indictment of manhood, but the reaction kind of is.

Before anyone gets upset by this statement, I am fully aware the #notallmen. I'm not saying "all men are bad" or something like that. but when you encourage men to be better and the vocal response is "what? how dare you????" it kind of emphasises the problem.

It gives me flashbacks from 2014 when people tried to convince me to get offended. For example:

tstorm823:

No, it is different than all of those. All of those PSA's target a behavior that's bad. This one targets a whole gender.

"They aren't targeting only the douchebags, they are targeting every man!". And it didn't stop there...

So, wait, the ad doesn't try to counter the beards being back in fashion in recent years, by showing that smooth cheeks can be as manly as a bushy, kempt beard? (in other words: "Please, start buying razors again.")*watches ad* ...Oh. I see.
Amazing, that people willfuly fall for something so obviously designed to cause that kind of stir(and publicity).
Yeah, i already buy Blue II Plus occasionaly. That ad won't change that.

The difference between this and "SJW" boycotts is that at least the "SJW"s value boycotts and view them as a good and valid thing. These people spend half their time complaining about how boycotts are some kind of vile attack and the other half boycotting things that hurt their feelings. If they want to boycott things, fine whatever, you should boycott companies who do things you disagree with, it's the only power you have against them. Hell if they're offended by it that's fine too it's the fact that they'll never admit that they're offended by it and try to say that their taking issue with a thing someone said is somehow different than someone else's taking issue with a thing someone said.

Bingo, bango, bongo.

ObsidianJones:
Ok, a lot of answers. Feeling a might popular all of a sudden.

Let me clarify.

I don't get why people are paying so much attention to this. This is no different than the PSA of the past.

911 Pizza delivery, Sexual Harassment, Homosexual Tormenting, Bullying (can someone explain to me why people had a problem with Gingers?)... this sort of thing has been a part of our landscape since we've had media. In all forms.

What I don't get is why all of a sudden, the same people who watched those PSAs in the past are even responding today. Literally, a year or two ago no one gave a damn. Now, everyone is in a tizzy because a razor company is doing something we've been doing for years. Why the hell is this ad so inflammatory?

Is it because Weinstein and Cosby were taken down and now some men feel like they are vulnerable? I don't get why they are now focusing on it instead of ignoring it like they always did.

I'd say it is different, though.
PSAs usually don't try to sell you a product.

And gingers are few and inbetween. That can be enough.

tstorm823:

This is an ad about men, directed at men, calling for change in men. Men are the subject and the audience. Those old PSAs are about bullying. etc. This one is about men. The fact that this ad feels the need to include "some men already do the right things" where it would be silly for the other ads to say "some bosses don't sexually harass female employees" is a good illustration that the subject here is broader than the specific behaviors. It's not a bad thing, just a distinction.

The ad is about behavior's that men engage in that are bad and needs changing. The ad specifically shows men telling other men to be better (as opposed to women or benevolent, enlightened aliens), because the message clearly isn't "men are the worst, get rekt bois" but rather "men should stand together in stopping bad behavior and being better".

But I'm also your enemy in this, because I absolutely feel that if you get triggered by a commercial telling you to teach your son to talk out issues instead of fighting, to not sexually harass women and not to bully other guys then you should take a long, hard look at yourself and consider what kind of a man you are. If you identify with the guys standing by the grill going "boys will be boys" and not the man stepping in to stop bullies, then what kind of person are you? And if you don't identify with those guys, why are you being upset at Gilette virtue signalling so hard you'd expect them to end with an intercut of the Stars and Stripes and Rainbow Flag?

undeadsuitor:
Whether it's movies, sports, Tv, and especially videogames. Groups (mostly straight white men) have been struggling when they realize they're not the sole audience anymore.

It's especially at issue because they wrapped their argument in the virtue of the Glorious Free Market. We were told for decades to vote with our wallets, and that the reason the straight white dude was focused on was they were the ones buying. Now that the market has done what it always does--look to expand its base--it can't be because there's a market out there, it has to be feminist SJW virtue signaling cucks or whatever.

It's only a culture war because they wrapped their culture so geavily in an identity central to Western Civiliation and the Chosen Fated of the Glorious Free Market.

tstorm823:
This one targets a whole gender.

"Targets" only insomuch as it encourages them to be better. That this is somehow so traumatic that it's triggering such a negative response is not a good look, but it's not on the part of Gillette.

"We believe in the best of men" should not be a statement whose response is "they're targeting men!"

Yeah, it focuses on men. Once you include that change, the statement loses any and all teeth.

MrCalavera:
PSAs usually don't try to sell you a product.

Fun as it would be to point out Jones' hypocrisy on this after his bothsidesism of the War on Christmas, he's not wrong here. Perhaps examples that don't fit your response, but then, we've had PSAs from alcohol companies about drinking responsibly and drunk driving since before I was born. Even non-PSAs encorage us to drink responsibly. Hell, my first hit on a Google search for "Sponsored PSA" was This food availability PSA sponsored by Arbys. Oh, I'm sorry, "the Arbys Foundation", which still left the Arbys logo flying at the end.

Companies do do PSA messages as advertisement and it's nothing new. Even the style of the ad isn't particularly different from examples you can find on YouTube of decades of ads promoting some sort of positive change brought to you by [your brand here] PSAs, like charity, are good for public image.

The only difference is that this ad seems specifically designed to create controversy by calling out the trend of thin-skinned baby-men wo have been trying to dominate the concept of masculinity for ages at a particularly opportune moment when they feel attacked not just by #metoo, but by other men who have stood up and said this sort of behaviour isn't cool.

Like Caitsith said, it calls out the action of douchebags, and I'd be surprised if it wasn't an attempt to get a response from them. Pissing off the alpha males is the equivalent of dynamiting fish in a barrel, though, in so much as you don't even need to say anything bad about them to offend, and this ad could have been just one line: "celebrating the best the men can be" and there would be a million angry men out there screeching "FFFFFFFFFFFFFEMINISM!"

The difference is in the potential intent, not in the attempt to sell something. Most PSAs are non-controversial because the subject matter is soft and easy. It's bad when children are hungry. Eat Arbys. This is why you don't tend to see sponsorships tied to abortion campaigns, or gun control. Gillette may have taken a different approach, with the intent to troll the "alphas" but even that's not a given because this ad is pretty much the definition of virtue signalling, offered at a time where it is fortuitous to be on the side they "happen" to be on. And that's what a reading of the text of the ad should indicate: this is a superficial message to sell razors at a time when it has become a trend to call out bad men.

Simply put, the only real question is whether they intended to troll the usual suspects, and that's really a moot point because the usual suspects will take umbrage at anything that doesn't directly stroke their ego. hell, when I looked up the Gillette ad, several of the top hits in the "video" section were about how the "real" message of the new Doctor Who series was that men were bad. I don't want to go too far off the topic of "Remember to Drink Your Ovaltine," but somehow the same people who are spouting conspiracy theories about a feminist PC agenda in Doctor Who and how they need to show an adult where on the doll Rey touched their childhood are the primary lot bothered by this. If there isn't a reason to be upset, they will invent one.

Windknight:
Because, ultimately, capitalism follows the money, and targets the demographics/movements they consider as being 'the most valuable', and the fact the advert goes a for a 'social justice' angle is pointing out loudly where Gillette (and a lot of other brands) think The Money is.

It's the [Current Year] version of Paris Hilton or whatever Instagram model is "in" this year eating a hamburger on the hood of a sports car. The response generates more brand awareness than the ad itself, which equates to free marketing for the brand. It's not a principled stand for any ideological, social, or political position, it's a means of maximizing reach and minimizing cost.

It's called "earned media", and it was one half of the equation that actually propelled Donald Trump to the Oval Office atop a $10 billion election that was otherwise a Kobayashi Maru scenario for the Republican party. Just because [insert corporation here] is saying things you like, doesn't mean it isn't the next toxic, predatory marketing trend to replace sponsored content and embedded advertising since that cat is out of the bag.

Honestly, as a progressive myself I'm pissed at the trend, because it's commodifying and exploiting social issues and movements of import, in order to obfuscate corporations' part in deeper and more toxic and predatory practices (someone in this thread already mentioned the pink tax), thereby undermining the message for the sake of profit.

CaitSeith:

"They aren't targeting only the douchebags, they are targeting every man!". And it didn't stop there...

The ad isn't just a condemnation of bad people, it's a call to action for everyone. That's not a bad thing, but it is different than old PSAs. That's all I'm saying.

Gethsemani:

But I'm also your enemy in this, because I absolutely feel that if you get triggered by a commercial telling you to teach your son to talk out issues instead of fighting, to not sexually harass women and not to bully other guys then you should take a long, hard look at yourself and consider what kind of a man you are. If you identify with the guys standing by the grill going "boys will be boys" and not the man stepping in to stop bullies, then what kind of person are you? And if you don't identify with those guys, why are you being upset at Gilette virtue signalling so hard you'd expect them to end with an intercut of the Stars and Stripes and Rainbow Flag?

You're not my enemy in this. I have no problem with this ad conceptually or the message it's trying to send. I was just refuting the idea that this is the same as old PSAs against specific problems. I'm definitely for more ads like this, trying to make positive influence on culture as a whole. I think this ad is in specific is really poorly executed, and like the ad with Kaepernick, they shoved a controversial figure into it to make sure people get riled up rather than bored to tears. But if a company with a product meant for a certain segment of the population wants to use their advertising budget to call for good actions from that population, I think that's both admirable and probably good advertising.

But it is different than old PSAs, and this one's just not very good.

tstorm823:
so the conservative part of the internet was meant to be soured by it.

I believe the word you're looking for is "triggered".

Eacaraxe:

Windknight:
Because, ultimately, capitalism follows the money, and targets the demographics/movements they consider as being 'the most valuable', and the fact the advert goes a for a 'social justice' angle is pointing out loudly where Gillette (and a lot of other brands) think The Money is.

It's the [Current Year] version of Paris Hilton or whatever Instagram model is "in" this year eating a hamburger on the hood of a sports car. The response generates more brand awareness than the ad itself, which equates to free marketing for the brand. It's not a principled stand for any ideological, social, or political position, it's a means of maximizing reach and minimizing cost.

It's called "earned media", and it was one half of the equation that actually propelled Donald Trump to the Oval Office atop a $10 billion election that was otherwise a Kobayashi Maru scenario for the Republican party. Just because [insert corporation here] is saying things you like, doesn't mean it isn't the next toxic, predatory marketing trend to replace sponsored content and embedded advertising since that cat is out of the bag.

Honestly, as a progressive myself I'm pissed at the trend, because it's commodifying and exploiting social issues and movements of import, in order to obfuscate corporations' part in deeper and more toxic and predatory practices (someone in this thread already mentioned the pink tax), thereby undermining the message for the sake of profit.

I would start with some American churches creating Youtube ads attacking people who are considering getting an abortion as evil as an example of this predatory practice and commodifing social issues already here

Edit: also ads that fixate on Americanness is pretty disgusting. What the hell do you know about Americanness, ADVERTISEMENT and why are you trying to force that onto me (I'm Australian and it happens why too much here too.) Actually, sub in any time some says what freedom is.

Avnger:

tstorm823:

ObsidianJones:
Ok, a lot of answers. Feeling a might popular all of a sudden.

Let me clarify.

I don't get why people are paying so much attention to this. This is no different than the PSA of the past.

911 Pizza delivery, Sexual Harassment, Homosexual Tormenting, Bullying (can someone explain to me why people had a problem with Gingers?)... this sort of thing has been a part of our landscape since we've had media. In all forms.

What I don't get is why all of a sudden, the same people who watched those PSAs in the past are even responding today. Literally, a year or two ago no one gave a damn. Now, everyone is in a tizzy because a razor company is doing something we've been doing for years. Why the hell is this ad so inflammatory?

Is it because Weinstein and Cosby were taken down and now some men feel like they are vulnerable? I don't get why they are now focusing on it instead of ignoring it like they always did.

All of those PSA's target a behavior that's bad. This one targets a whole gender.

What, explicitly, does this add do that means it "targets a whole gender." Just because the some actions of some men were pointed out as wrong doesn't mean all men were being "targeted."

Food for thought: What is the difference between telling someone to be good, and telling them that they should try to be one of the good ones?

If the answer doesn't come to you immediately, the latter is not functionally different than "You are a credit to your race" or perhaps "noble savage" (at least in the context of race). It's the difference between saying that Che Guevara was fairly intellectual and saying that he was "fairly intellectual for a Latino" (As described in a 1958 CIA document). To be called one of the good ones is not praise or recognition, it's a backhanded compliment suggesting that you've risen above what the speaker expected of someone like you. That you are the exception that proves the rule.

Reactions to this commercial can be simply explained by which of those two messages the speaker believes the commercial is actually sending. And, frankly? "Is this the best a man can be?" "To say the right thing. To act the right way. Some already are"? Yeah...it's not just possible to see it as saying "be one of the good ones" rather than "be good", it's distressingly easy. I'd go so far as to say that the rhetoric is uncomfortably similar to Trump's infamous rhetoric about illegal immigrants (you know: "some, I assume, are good people").

I'm all for the goal, but in terms of execution, I'd rank this with Nivea's "Re-Civilize Yourself" ad.

tstorm823:
That's not a bad thing, but it is different than old PSAs. That's all I'm saying.

In the 1980s. there were PSAs encouraging bar owners and patrons to take responsibility for people who drank too kmuch, and in some cases the ads enmcouraged some pretty extreme behaviour to trick people into taking themselves out of driving. This went beyond the responsibility of the drinker to "know when to say when" as the other PSAs would go. It was a call to action for an entire group.

You keep making these statements that don't hold up to scrutiny, then shifting the goalposts. Let's see where the next goalpost is, I guess.

trunkage:
I would start with some American churches creating Youtube ads attacking people who are considering getting an abortion as evil as an example of this predatory practice and commodifing social issues already here

YouTube? That shit used to be on network.

Asita:

Food for thought: What is the difference between telling someone to be good, and telling them that they should try to be one of the good ones?

Wouldn't the latter imply men need to be told to be good in the first place? That they literally don't know any better?

That's not what the ad does, any more than the Army did with "be all that you can be."

tstorm823:

CaitSeith:

"They aren't targeting only the douchebags, they are targeting every man!". And it didn't stop there...

The ad isn't just a condemnation of bad people, it's a call to action for everyone. That's not a bad thing, but it is different than old PSAs. That's all I'm saying.

Fair enough.

Something Amyss:

In the 1980s. there were PSAs encouraging bar owners and patrons to take responsibility for people who drank too kmuch, and in some cases the ads enmcouraged some pretty extreme behaviour to trick people into taking themselves out of driving. This went beyond the responsibility of the drinker to "know when to say when" as the other PSAs would go. It was a call to action for an entire group.

You keep making these statements that don't hold up to scrutiny, then shifting the goalposts. Let's see where the next goalpost is, I guess.

The topic of that sounds like it's drunk driving, not bar owners and patrons. But even if it is a perfect parallel, that's not any of the videos that were linked in what I was responding to. Maybe they are the same? I don't know.

You're imagining this exchange is way more confrontational than it really is. I'm just saying the same things different ways to get more people to understand me. Here's another phrasing: "Be the best man you can be" is a good message, but it is simultaneously much broader and much more personal than "don't let people drive drunk." A broader message doesn't make it worse, but it is a tangibly difference from a focused PSA about a singular behavior, which may partially explain the difference in reaction.

Something Amyss:

Asita:

Food for thought: What is the difference between telling someone to be good, and telling them that they should try to be one of the good ones?

Wouldn't the latter imply men need to be told to be good in the first place? That they literally don't know any better?

That's not what the ad does, any more than the Army did with "be all that you can be."

Less so than you might think. The central idea of "one of the good ones" is that you are the exception that proves the rule. "Most <demographic> are <negative trait>, but this person is one of the good ones and is <contrasting trait>". "Don't be a standard <demographic> be exceptional for a <demographic>", as it were. How they became exceptional is rarely touched on, while the fact that they are better than could "reasonably be expected" of them is at the heart of the concept.

To the latter point, I don't doubt that Gillette intended something along those lines, but I think their execution was muddled enough to also (presumably unintentionally) convey "be one of the good ones". In this regard it's not much different than an ad campaign from the Economist. The long and short of it is that the ad started with "Why should women read The Economist? They shouldn't." And its punchline was that "Accomplished, influential people should read us. People like you.". The intent of the ad was that the Economist was that it was for people who were accomplished and influential, period, end statement. Male or female didn't enter into the equation, and asking why women (or presumably men) should read it was in effect asking the wrong question. However, this ended up instead being interpreted as a slight against women, saying that they didn't count, that it was scoffing at the idea that a woman could be intelligent or influential.

See also Nivea's aforementioned Re-Civilize Yourself ad, which on its face is about personal grooming, but hits a few landmines of historical context that made it also carry racist messaging.

As I said in a prior post, poor execution can undermine and even sabotage intended meaning. This would not be the first time such a thing has happened, and it certainly won't be the last. Understanding why and how they can be perceived as offensive, however, can help us understand how to better convey our intended meaning.

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