In today’s business world, the majority of consumers believe that businesses and CEOs should state their values and share their opinions. Within this environment, a growing number of companies are publicly embracing important social issues.
Recently, Gillette made headlines with its “We Believe” ad. Despite the risk of alienating consumers, the razor company took a hard stance against toxic masculinity. The commercial was somewhat controversial, but the data suggests the benefits of sharing the advertisement far outweighed the drawbacks.
A Closer Look
The ad — which Gillette calls a short film — refreshes their slogan from “The Best A Man Can Get” to “The Best A Man Can Be.” Amid examples of harassment and bullying, men rise to the moment by holding each other accountable and setting positive examples.
Additionally, the campaign includes a commitment to challenge and foster male culture, while awarding grants to organizations helping men grow and succeed.
The film went viral and created minor controversy. Some saw the ad as an attack on men and postedvideos and messages on social media vowing to boycott Gillette. Others called the move a marketing failure because the ad was trying to sell values not razors.
But Mark Pritchard, the chief brand officer for Procter & Gamble, which owns Gillette, stood by the ad and the company’s decision to take a stand. “Consumers expect more from brands than just selling products,” Pritchard remarked. “[I]f intentions are good, brands have a responsibility to step up, take the heat, and keep going.”
Early data suggests Gillette’s risk paid off. Of surveyed consumers, many viewed the ad favorably:
- 71% of consumers reported sharing Gillette’s values — up from only 42% before watching the video.
- 65% of viewers said they were more likely to buy Gillette products.
- 56% of Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club consumers said they were more likely to switch to Gillette.
In other words, the commercial and resulting publicity made consumers connect with Gillette — and more interested in buying their products. And despite some negative attention on social media, data shows the video was not as polarizing as it may have seemed.
Separating the noise from the facts reveals that taking a stand and joining important conversations can help your company stand out.
Sharing your values doesn’t have to be a huge risk to your business. In fact, most consumers want to know what you believe in. If you understand your audience well, you can embrace socially conscious marketing and discover new ways to stand out from competitors. You may even find that taking a stand will fuel growth and inspire lasting change.