Gillette's 'We Believe' ad took a stand. And I'm proud of the conversation it started

Updated 2217 GMT (0617 HKT) February 5, 2019

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Marc Pritchard is chief brand officer at P&G. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own.

Perspectives Tensie Whelan

Our team at Gillette sparked an important worldwide conversation with the new "We Believe" ad. The film shows men being role models by stepping in to stop bullying and harassment and demonstrating how to treat people with respect. It has gotten nearly 100 million views on social media. We're proud of the ad's message about what it means to be a good man today, and how men can step up to reject bad behavior and take positive action.
Not everyone agrees with the message and there have been some vocal detractors. Some said the ad attacks masculinity, while others said it sounded like a lecture.
We respect different viewpoints and we're paying attention to all of them. But it's important to distinguish between actual consumer sentiment and some of the social media reaction that does not represent the majority opinion. Independent research from multiple sources indicates a far more positive response than what has been reported. Most consumers — men and women alike — support the messages, particularly younger Millennial and Gen Z consumers. The majority who've seen the film feel that Gillette shares their values and indicate they feel better about the brand and are more likely to purchase its products. If nothing else, we hope people take time to view the entire film, and even if they don't agree, they will have a constructive conversation about it.
And that's really why we made the film. Gillette's "We Believe" was intended to promote positive action by inspiring conversations about the best men can be. Our team constantly talks with men who say they believe being a good man means not only rejecting bad behavior, but also being a role model for positive behavior. The film is causing people to pause, reflect and consider what they can do to set an even better example — especially for the next generation of men. It is being used in school classrooms and universities to educate and encourage discussion on masculinity and culture. And academics, psychologists, non-profits and community organizers have lauded the messages and expressed their support.
"We Believe" was hardly the first time Procter & Gamble used its marketing messages for good. Ariel in India and France show men "sharing the load" in household work by doing the laundry. Dawn features men doing the dis