The best a brand can get?

I noted back in January that Gillette ran the risk of becoming a cautionary tale for Marketing 101 courses.  This has now come to pass, as P&G recently announced that they were taking an 8 billion dollar write down on the brand.   The whole purpose of advertising is to increase the value of a brand.  Yet the Gillette marketing team poisoned the brand in the mind of many of its target customers when they accused the average shaver of toxic masculinity.

The defense of the ad is especially humorous.  The excuse is that the brand was already losing value when they took their infamous shot at their core customer base, so they aren’t to blame for the loss in goodwill.  This would be like a fire department explaining that a home was already on fire when they showed up and sprayed it and neighboring homes with gasoline.  The job of fire departments is to extinguish fires, not inflame them, and the job of marketing departments is to create goodwill or slow the loss of goodwill, not torch it.

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This entry was posted in Commercials, Denial, Disrespecting Respectability, Gillette, Social Justice Warriors. Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to The best a brand can get?

  1. P&G: “In countries like the United States, growing beards is more popular, leading fewer men to buy razors.”

    Is this true? In the past two years I’ve lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and in eastern Iowa. Don’t see many beards in either place. Of course, this might be a big trend I’ve missed.

  2. swiftfoxmark2 says:

    I hope to see more of this, not because I want companies to fail, but because I want this open hostility to Christianity and Western culture to show itself to be damaging to a company’s bottom line.

    I know they’ll employ dirty tricks in the meantime. The “Captain Marvel” movie was rumored to have empty theaters that were supposedly sold out, although I suspect most people saw it because of the cliffhanger ending in Infinity Wars.

    Anyway, I suspect this is merely the beginning of the downfall of SJW and politically correct culture. While the election of President Trump may have been the actual beginning, this may be the first fruits of it.

  3. Frank K says:

    It is mind boggling the grip the left has on corporations, to the point where it can make huge corporations take actions that will cause great financial harm to them. Apparently management and shareholders fear SJWs so much that they are willing to slit their throats to appease them,

    That said, the write down was against “goodwill” which is an intangible asset. It’s not like they really lost $8B cash due to a crash in razor sales. It’s also possible that P&G has some unrealized real losses, which it may have well tossed in with the goodwill loss to get them out of the way, thus making future quarters look better. Some call such actions “taking a big bath”. It might be possible that P&G intentionally did this (the ad campaign) to set up the write down, which might save them a lot of income tax. Who knows?

  4. Frank K says:

    Anyway, I suspect this is merely the beginning of the downfall of SJW and politically correct culture.

    I hope you are right, because from I have observed, most younger people have bought into the insanity, or at least they pretend to do so, perhaps out of fear of reprisals for not complying with the narrative. From what I’ve experienced and observed, sharing other points of view, even among “friends” can earn one disapproving looks or even glares.

  5. Just stocked up on Gillette before they nuked their brand. Researching alternatives. Looks like Schick may win out. Amazon reviews are amusing — one after another is a former Gillette customer.

    Yep, Gillette’s theme song is David Bowie’s “Cat People” (“Putting out a fire . . .with gasoline!”

  6. wilandmari says:

    It wasn’t just the toxic masculinity ad. Don’t forget this gem from a couple months ago:

  7. emery says:

    @Eternity Matters
    Go for safety razors. Buy a good German handle which’ll run you around 30 bucks and then get a sample pack of razors to see which company suits your skin best over time. The new razors’ll run you cents apiece and if you threw away a razor after a single use the overall cost would be similar to stocking up on Gillettes.

  8. Warthog says:

    I threw away my Gilette Fusion and bought a straight razor after that ad. I’m glad I did.

  9. Jake says:

    Dollar shave club got me through jobs which required shaving.

  10. The Question says:

    “The defense of the ad is especially humorous. The excuse is that the brand was already losing value when they took their infamous shot at their core customer base, so they aren’t to blame for the loss in goodwill.”

    It’s also a pathetic attempt to reframe the issue.

  11. Jon Patch says:

    Beat me to it with the manly comments. I switched to a double-edge safety razor with a brush and cup about two years ago and it has been great. I change the blade every 3 shaves or so and quality blades are about 8 cents per. A cake of soap lasts 6 months or more, but sometimes I use shaving oil instead and it takes just a few drops. I also splash on Pinaud Club Man after. All around clean refreshing job. May try the straight razor one day.

  12. Barnie says:

    I probably makes more sense if you think of the fortunes of the huge global conglomerate Procter and Gamble rather than the brand Gillette. Will the Social Justice cred grease the wheels for a big merger or tax loophole?

  13. Pingback: The best a brand can get? | Reaction Times

  14. white says:

    Gillette seems to have found their market for “woke advertising” though:

    Scroll through the comments and you’ll see an overwhelmingly positive response. At this rate it should be easy to more than make up the losses in no time. So much for India being a “misogynistic” country, eh?

  15. Spike says:

    Originally P&G attempted to cover the $8B loss by saying it was due to “currency fluctuations”.
    It was then pointed out that GILLETTE, AND ONLY GILLETTE, out of their entire portfolio, has suffered this badly, that they changed their tune.
    No matter. I’m gone from Gillette, and am taking a long hard look at every bathroom product that may be P& G with the aim of replacing it.
    If ‘love of money is the root of all evil”, then it will only be a matter of time before “Get woke, go Broke” meets that “love of money” and the results won’t be pretty for SJW lackeys.

  16. feeriker says:

    The defense of the ad is especially humorous. The excuse is that the brand was already losing value when they took their infamous shot at their core customer base, so they aren’t to blame for the loss in goodwill. This would be like a fire department explaining that a home was already on fire when they showed up and sprayed it and neighboring homes with gasoline. The job of fire departments is to extinguish fires, not inflame them, and the job of marketing departments is to create goodwill or slow the loss of goodwill, not torch it.

    Clownworld “logic.”

  17. feeriker says:

    It is mind boggling the grip the left has on corporations, to the point where it can make huge corporations take actions that will cause great financial harm to them. Apparently management and shareholders fear SJWs so much that they are willing to slit their throats to appease them

    This also serves as yet another example (as if we needed any more) of why putting any money into Wall Street is a terrible idea. Why risk hard-earned money in stocks from companies that are hellbent on committing ritual corporate seppuku?

  18. Jon Patch says:

    It’s fun to think the commercial spot caused it, but strongly joining with this cultural blunder is the online competition for much cheaper and especially the trend that full beards are “in” like they haven’t been since civil war generals were rockin’ the look. If we are happy about the red-lining of Gillette, then we can thank redneck duck hunters, hipsters, slothful neckbeards, lumberjacks, patagonia vest-wearing dandies and, dare I say, radical muslims.

  19. Hmm says:

    OT: We saw a great film last night. “The Professor and the Madman” shows the story of James Murray (Mel Gibson), the man who undertook the project of creating the Oxford English Dictionary, and his developing friendship with the half-insane Dr. William Minor (Sean Penn), confined to an English mental institution after killing a man he thought was his enemy. As Murray starts the project of recording and defining every English word, he enlists the heip of the British public to provide instances of usage over the centuries. Minor becomes excited by the project, and uses his time confined to submit thousands of words and usages, helping make the project a reality.

    It’s a story of redemption and deep, life-changing male friendship The women involved, Murray’s wife and the widow of the man Minor killed, also play roles, but it’s mainly about the lengths one friend will go to in helping another. And there’s a deep Christian subtheme of the significance of every human life.

    I will watch this again.

  20. Frank K says:

    I have a hard time believing that Gillette actually had a net loss of $8B. From looking around online, it appears that their annual sales are about $7B, so an $8B loss seems unlikely. Rather, I think that P&G engaged in some accounting shenanigans to hide losses in other divisions.

  21. info says:

    Its not about selling the product. But social engineering. Thats why they gladly take the losses.

  22. locustsplease says:

    If feminism made a 8billion$ drop in a company it would b world wide news. They made it up elsewhere could mean anything in the short term. But ford motor company cannot afford to take that hit neither any company known to exist for long. Thats basically saying they shut down production.

    What my eyes see is old Gillette razors collecting dust on the shelves of my grocery store. The store seems to want to ditch them stocking more racks than they need.

    If ford pisses off truck buyers car buyers are not gonna miraculously pick up their slack this does not make rational sense. You can do lots with numbers when you control them and need to paint a picture.

  23. NotaBene says:

    I’m a bit odd, but my home is (mostly) free of corporate influence. I get lazy on food and toiletry items, but generally I cover up logos and brand names and tolerate zero commercials or even internet ads.

    I’m always surprised when people talk about ad campaigns. It’s 2019, why are people watching ads and commercials still?

    Just an idea of a weird way to fight back. Remember even bad press is still good press for a large corporation, so the best thing in the long run might just be to ignore them. They hate that.

  24. Opus says:

    My skin has always been a bit too sensitive for anything other than an electric razor – so I am ready now, Mr De Mille, for my close-up.

    Big fan of Mel Gibson even if he is (like Errol Flynn) and like Flynn sometimes inebriated, an Ozzie. A man of integrity.

    O/T great News if the rumours are true, the Exec Producer of Dr Who has been sacked /walked by the BBC and has been followed by the female actress pretending to play the Doctor. The irony is that the merch was not selling and although the BBC is famed for not being commercially sensitive in reality it needs and more than other institutions all the extra revenue it can get – hence the firings. My pick for the next incarnation of The Doctor – what about Mel Gibson!

  25. Ann K. says:

    I think we’re naive if we assume this was done in good faith. This was a distraction from something else, a justification for something else.

  26. Gryunt Yulinto, 7th Level Bard says:

    So much for India being a “misogynistic” country, eh?

    It’s a desperately thirsty country, so expect a lot of white knightery.

  27. purge187 says:

    A razor company catered to Feminists, a group of women who aren’t exactly notorious for shaving.

    Yeah.

  28. Dalrock says:

    @Jon Patch

    It’s fun to think the commercial spot caused it, but strongly joining with this cultural blunder is the online competition for much cheaper and especially the trend that full beards are “in” like they haven’t been since civil war generals were rockin’ the look. If we are happy about the red-lining of Gillette, then we can thank redneck duck hunters, hipsters, slothful neckbeards, lumberjacks, patagonia vest-wearing dandies and, dare I say, radical muslims.

    You are looking at this the wrong way. The Gillette marketing group did something reckless with the brand. They lectured their target market, calling them jerks. You are pointing out that they were reckless with the brand at a time when the brand was already under great pressure due to changing preferences. That doesn’t make it better, it makes it worse.

  29. vandicus says:

    The 8b loss was a write down in value. It could mean something like a 500m/year(number pulled out of ass) reduction in future earnings expectations.

  30. Frank K says:

    Which is why I suspect that it’s a big bath.

  31. Virgil Crowe says:

    They’re catering to fact that a large numbers of women still doing the majority of the household shopping and the majority of domesticated men don’t care what brand the madam comes home with. Men’s underwear is and a few other items are often marketed with the idea that the purchaser is not the end user so the focus their efforts there.

  32. American says:

    I switched to https://www.harrys.com/en/us and am never going back to Gillette. I’m obviously too toxic to purchase their products ever again and that’s fine with me.

  33. BillyS says:

    I shave in the shower and keep my razor in oil (olive oil in my case). That seems to make it last a LOT longer.

  34. Jon Patch says:

    @Dalrock
    Yes I see. Yours is certainly a more well-informed and thorough position on the whole thing. I was not trying to cut them any slack. I am not a customer.

    This page more than any other in the sphere helped me understand important life matters at a critical time. Thank you for consistently great material for so long.

  35. Spike says:

    Slightly off-topic, but I’ll put this gem in from my church today….

    Spike: “I don’t want to be producing Toxic Masculinity in the music group” (joking).
    Parishoner: “We spoke about Toxic Masculinity in a conference yesterday. Christian men should have “Tender Masculinity”
    Spike: “You’re kidding, right?”
    Parishoner: “No. That’s what we should be doing. You should have come to the conference”
    Spike: “You paid money so that someone can tell you this crap?”

    BEWARE!: There are “Christian” speakers / motivators out there peddling this snake oil

  36. Robertt Avro says:

    I shop with my wife and am pleased to say that we have spent at least $600 less on P and G products since the ad. We have stopped using Tide, Febreeze, Gain and of course Gillette.

  37. ace says:

    Larry Kummer, Editor says:
    August 8, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    “P&G: “In countries like the United States, growing beards is more popular, leading fewer men to buy razors.””

    You still need a razor to line up your beard and shave other parts of the body (armpits and private parts).

  38. feeriker says:

    So much for India being a “misogynistic” country, eh?

    It’s a desperately thirsty country, so expect a lot of white knightery.

    I cannot imagine any self-respecting human male ever being thirsty enough to white knight for the typical Indian woman. I’d actually white knight for an American woman first, and the odds of my ever doing that are less than zero in zero.

  39. Pingback: The Gillette Syndrome – The Orthosphere

  40. Alan Roebuck says:

    At the Orthosphere, I call it the Gillette Syndrome. https://orthosphere.wordpress.com/2019/08/12/the-gillette-syndrome/

  41. c matt says:

    $8B loss seems unlikely

    Depends – as others pointed out, could be a write-down of assets. Or could be shenanigans. Who knows. The ads certainly did not help.

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