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Go Woke, Go Broke! Gillette Tackles Male Behavior in #MeToo Era

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There’s a pithy, if snide, response that stands out from the other quarter-million YouTube comments you can read under Gillette’s controversial and viral “The Best Men Can Be” spot on YouTube.

A simple rhyme, it warns the company “Go Woke, Go Broke!”  Strongly suggesting, in terse poetic terms, that Gillette should stay out of today’s social movements, just sell razors or risk devastating revenue loss.

But marketing aficionados know differently.

Vast numbers of negative comments aside, a campaign like this will only help elevate a century-old brand like Gillette in the eyes of its next generation of shavers. Surveys show again and again that this next generation wants to associate (and buy from) brands with clearly-stated values that promote positive change in the world. And with this spot, Gillette just demonstrated it’s one of those brands.

The video addresses the way men have been traditionally conditioned by society to treat women – as second class citizens. And reasons why that needs to change. Sexism, bullying, mockery, wage inequality, physical as well as psychological aggression, are no longer culturally tolerated.

In support of the #MeToo movement, the controversial spot asks men to correct bad male-behavior when they see it in others. It asks that we check those outdated and offensive patterns by holding offenders we see accountable, and in doing so, set an example for youngsters who are watching how we act.

The stand has made a lot of people uncomfortable. Mostly from those who don’t believe a consumer-products company should weigh-in on issues like cultural change.

But will Gillette “Go Woke, Go Broke” and suffer a financial backlash from this campaign, as this one YouTube poster suggests?

It’s unlikely, simply because a generation of men that resists social change is just as likely to resist switching razor brands. They’re just change-resisters in general.  A large percentage of them will stick with Gillette out of habit, and in the meantime, Gillette will have appealed to its next generation of razor-buyers, with a campaign that reflects the positive change gaining acceptance and sweeping across today’s cultural landscape.