A new ad campaign from Procter & Gamble-owned razor brand Gillette is taking on toxic masculinity and calling on men to take action against sexual harassment and bullying.
The digital ad, titled “We Believe,” puts a twist on Gillette’s decades-old slogan, “The Best a Man Can Get.”
It addresses issues of harassment, bullying and men’s mental health, asking: “Is this the best a man can get?”
“We believe in the best in men. To say the right thing, to act the right way,” a narrator says over clips, both scripted and real, of men defending others from bullying or stopping friends from harassing women.
“The boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow,” the narrator says.
The ad’s release comes just days after the American Psychological Association officially labeled “traditional masculinity” as “harmful" and amid heightened awareness about the effect of gender roles on modern society.
The campaign dismisses the phrase “boys will be boys” as an excuse and makes reference to the "Me Too" movement against workplace sexual harassment.
Gillette is linking the ad to a donation campaign and dedicated a new page on its website to the new messaging.
“It’s time we acknowledge that brands, like ours, play a role in influencing culture,” Gillette said in a statement. “And as a company that encourages men to be their best, we have a responsibility to make sure we are promoting positive, attainable, inclusive and healthy versions of what it means to be a man.”
Through an effort called the Best Men Can Be, the company is also pledging to donate $1 million yearly to nonprofit organizations, starting with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
“From today on, we pledge to actively challenge the stereotypes and expectations of what it means to be a man everywhere you see Gillette," the statement reads.