Last week Gillette introduced its new “We Believe” campaign accompanied by the slogan, “The Best Men Can Be.” Making reference to the #MeToo movement, the spot encourages men to take accountability for their actions and set better examples for the next generation. There’s no disputing the importance and timeliness of this message. Everyone can agree that men should do whatever they can to stop harassment and bullying. But it seems like not everyone agrees that Gillette should be the ones championing the cause.

Looking at social media sentiment for Gillette in the week after the ad came out and comparing it to the week prior, there was a decrease of 29%. We did see an increase of 9,328% in social engagement so it’s clear the campaign is driving conversation.

As we know, it’s risky for brands to take sides when it comes to politically-charged issues. Following Nike’s recent campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick we created a cheat sheet to help marketers maneuver around these delicate issues.

Another useful tool is 4C Brand Compass which shows the core values exhibited by key brand audiences. As you can see, Gillette has a wide range of values including disaster relief, tax reform, veteran’s causes, wildlife preservation, and STEM education. Gender equality ranks number 7 based on social affinity.


Note: this report is generated by applying 4C’s patented machine learning algorithms on top of public brand engagement data – nothing shown here is based on private/proprietary data from Gillette or its customers.

It’s too early to tell if this campaign will be deemed a success as we haven’t seen any sales figures released. For its part, Nike saw a 31% sales lift in the weeks after its controversial campaign launched. That said, perhaps revenue is not the goal here and the brand is truly putting purpose before profit. When that becomes the imperative, you can throw away the cheat sheet and just do it.

Now it’s time for the best 4C’s Insights anyone can get.

Get the rest of 4C’s Insights Volume 143 here.