Nike’s Collin Kaepernick advert had the whole internet in conflict. People annoyed at Nike, and people defending them. It became a battleground of political values, quickly growing through online conversations and raising awareness about the advert.
If people didn’t react, the advert wouldn’t have been effective. Yes, Nike’s stock suffered temporarily due to the backlash, but this was a small price for such massive exposure.
Gillette are now trying something similar with their Toxic-Masculinity advert, and for the most part are seeing even better results.
Ignoring the political messages of the advert, Gillette have potentially created an extremely troubling advertising trend; unnecessarily creating conflict for the benefit of brand awareness.
The difference between Gillette and Nike, though, is that Nike had already been involved in the conversation by default due to them being a sports brand. Their athletes were already talking about the issue, they simply decided to support them.
With Gillette, they have no connection with the issues in their advert. They saw a provocative topic, and realised a way for them to capitalise. There was no good intention here, nobody for them to support, only an opportunity for viral marketing.
Gillette succeeding through creating politically divisive adverts is a message to other brands that this type of advertising is acceptable, and if this trend continues could result in the sincerity of these topics fading.
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