Friday 18 January 2019

Macho Metamorphosis

I'm not going to wade in with my tuppence worth on the Gillette ad, suffice to say a couple of things. It's yet another prime example of this, employing the good old Procter & Gamble problem-solution formula, with a bit of band-wagon-jumping thrown in.

In addition, it's more ammunition for those who consider "Purpose" per se at best a fluffy marketing buzz word. But isn't it time to distinguish between "purpose-driven ad campaigns" (take a popular social issue and churn out a film that will polarise opinion/get lots of YouTube hits) and "purpose-driven brands" (everything the brand does is driven by its unique purpose, which is related to the product/service/experience the brand offers).

I wonder what Unilever make of their arch rival's attempt? I first blogged 3 years ago on the Lynx/Axe turnaround in the direction of Find Your Magic. Here's a Lynx film from a little while ago as part of the brand campaign:

I find the Lynx/Axe approach infinitely better than Gillette creatively,  but to me the strategy still feels awfully generic. It could have been hung on any number of brands targeting a broad audience of men. I fear that "male empowerment" will become as much of a cliche as "female empowerment" has become for brands over the last few years.

I do wonder whether the vogue for this men/women marketing en masse isn't just a little lazy.

Take this man:

He's famous for not holding back the tears.
He's done brilliant things.
He's even done heroic things.
But he's also been accused of sexual assault and racism.
He has (or has had) a number of mental illnesses.
But he has probably done unacceptable things just for the heck of it.

People are complex, and putting all men/women in the same box with a big "toxic" or "victim" label on it doesn't get us anywhere.

I'd like to see brands looking to their product, service, experience and values to find their unique purpose, and using that to drive all they do. And it doesn't have to be about the latest Twitterati issue.

If your brand does have a large proportion of men in its user base, how about looking at some masculine values that may be due for a revival (or maybe they never went away): courage, honour, strength, grit, decency, loyalty, respect.

Or are there no more (brand) heroes any more?

1 comment:

Sue Imgrund said...

... and here come the parodies