….to comment on Gillettes new ad on ‘morals for men’. It seems to have generated a lot of hype. Some men are angry at being lectured. Some of the really nice ones are pleased that they are being shown how to be nicer. Be better men. They really, really want to be the best they can be — as defined by someone else, of course. In this instance, the advisers are the women ad directors of Gillette.
And, really, who would know better?
But, despite the au courant feeling of being pushed to opine, I am ambivalent in the extreme. Who cares what some ad execs come up with? Mind you, one has to admit that they are good at what they do. Ya gotta admire good work when you see it. Those ad execs made the typically, really boring ad about shaving a sensational news item complete with movie stars and politicians commenting. And now, I am, too! THAT’S GOOD ADVERTISING.
But that is all it is. Yes, they are depicting some men (mostly boys, actually) as bullies or lecherous. . .duh. . .some are. . .but, so, like……didn’t they also show in the same ad that most men were not?
Doesn’t that mean that the basic ad is really indicating that all men are different?
Didn’t they also show men making cartoonishly sexist gestures back in the 60’s as being really, really bad and, well. . .cartoonish? So BAD is just bad humour? I kinda agree with that to some extent, actually.
But didn’t they also portray a potentially ordinary human interaction as very, very wrong? (A guy notices a very beautiful woman walk by and sets out to. . .what? In broad daylight. . .on a busy street. . .maybe commit the unpardonable sin of introducing himself?). Thank GOD she was saved by the intervention of his friend who advised him ‘not cool, man’. He dutifully obeyed and turned away. Good boy!
Boy does NOT meet girl – the new universal story.
Mind you, I sat down beside Sally on the steps of a public building and began talking to her almost fifty years ago. My bad? Maybe I should apologize?
The point is that advertising attempts to paint a scenario in such as way as to get your attention and, at the same time, etch their brand into your brain. Gillette did that. End of story.
Are they right about men? Of course not! They had thirty seconds to tell a self-serving story. They took shortcuts. Are they right about our collective morality? Of course not, they are selling product! Are they wrong about men? Of course not. Some men are bad and some are really, really nice. Some are tall, some are short and all the men in the ad were of similar height. They did NOT get it right. No one expected they would. They did what they could.
My only beef with the ad is that it shows all the ‘good men’ lined up at barbecues looking sincere with spatulas in their hands. That is a tactical strike against all of us men. Barbecuing is a long-running feminist conspiracy as yet unrecognized except by a few of us. Barbecuing was a plot by feminists enacted way back in the 60’s to make men cook. Seriously! Gloria Steinhem owns Weber. Everyone knows that. Once they get all the men wearing aprons and cooking and looking sincere, the next step is world domination.
But the ad? It’s just an ad. Go back to being you. We know the truth about men and it does not have to include barbecuing. In fact, it should not! You know why? Because, really. . .? All men are pigs!