Gillette's 'toxic masculinity' ad draws praise, criticism

It's a new marketing campaign that's getting a lot of attention, good and bad. Gillette just released the ad, titled "We Believe." It addresses issues from toxic masculinity to bullying to the #MeToo movement.

Gillette says it's taking a fresh look at its 30-year-old tagline, "The Best a Man Can Get" and what it really means to be "the best." Some are applauding the company for taking a stand against age-old bad behavior and encouraging accountability. Others have razor-sharp criticism, calling it an attack on Gillette's own customers and boycotting the company.

The ad begins with the words, "Bullying, the #MeToo movement, toxic masculinity, is this the best a man can get?" It shows instances of catcalling, men objectifying women and boys beating each other up. However, it ends by showing men in a positive light, standing against harassment and being an example for the younger generation.

While the ad has created a buzz all over the internet, we got local buzz at Tampa Shave Company. The opinions varied from chair to chair.

"I think it's a good message to hold guys accountable," said Sara Zammataro.

"I really didn't like it," said Daniel Barbosa. "Seems like bashing males right now is really popular and I just don't think we need more of that."

Gillette, the world's largest marketer to men wants the ad to inspire respect, accountability and role modeling. It's already been viewed 8 million times on YouTube.

Michael Growe feels the company missed the mark. "It seemed to paint all men in the same color as abusers or like they're toxic," Growe said. "There are a lot of men who are manly men and they still treat everybody with respect."

After Growe saw the ad, he put his money where his beard his, buying a new razor, locally-made from Tampa Shave Company.

"That way, I'm supporting a local guy and then I can just buy the little razors that to go in there, and I never have to buy anything from Gillette again," Growe said.

Bryan Abernathy, the owner of Tampa Shave Company, can see it both ways. "I could see how someone could take it as that. And, I could also see how they made it to basically say men need to almost watch what they're saying and what they're doing and check other guys that are doing bad and say something about it and not let is slide."

Zammataro appreciates the deeper message, encouraging men to be good role models for young boys.

"I think it's good that it's like a male company that's standing up for women," he said. "Because women, I feel like we get silenced a lot. So, it's nice when we have the support from males to kind of say it's not okay."

Along with the ad, Gillette is committing to donating $1 million a year for the next three years to non-profits designed to help men of all ages achieve their personal "best." Their first partner is the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.