Gillette CEO Gary Coombe said he does not regret his company’s controversial marketing campaign targeted at the #MeToo movement even though the company has taken an $8 billion hit, as per Washington Examiner reports.
In January, Gillette ran the short film “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be” which took on “toxic masculinity” and the #MeToo movement.
Some criticized the ad for “virtue signaling” and making broad generalizations about male behavior.
In May, Gillette also ran an ad depicting a man teaching his transgender son how to shave for the first time.
Gary Coombe called it a “price worth paying” in an interview with Marketing Week. Procter & Gamble, the parent company of Gillette, announced they had taken over $5 billion in losses for the quarter, after Gillette had an $8 billion non-cash writedown.
P&G led by Gillette has seen its market share for razors fall over the last three years.
Gillette CEO admitted #MeToo ad the company put out in January was a ploy to capture market share among millennials, a space in which they were losing market share to Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club.
“It was pretty stark: we were losing share, we were losing awareness and penetration, and something had to be done,” he said, adding they decided to “take a chance in an emotionally-charged way.”
Coombe admitted the work ended up to be more controversial with more “intense” backlash then he originally anticipated but said it was “less provocative” than other versions they had created.
“I don’t enjoy that some people were offended by the film and upset at the brand as a consequence. That’s not nice and goes against every ounce of training I’ve had in this industry over a third of a century,” Coombe said.
“But I am absolutely of the view now that for the majority of people to fall more deeply in love with today’s brands you have to risk upsetting a small minority and that’s what we’ve done,” he added.
P&G purchased Gillette, the largest shaving brand in the world, in 2005 for $57 billion.
By: Abhinav Ranjan, Editorial Desk, DKODING Media