Once again, Gillette is out with an ad that attempts to reframe masculinity: It shows a transgender man shaving for the first time, with his father teaching, guiding and supporting him. “Whenever, wherever, however it happens, your first shave is special,” the copy says.
In January, Procter & Gamble’s Gillette was in the spotlight for an ad that touched off widespread debate—sometimes heated—about its portrayal of modern manhood and about cause marketing. The new spot is from Grey Canada and stars Toronto-based transgender activist Samson Brown. It was released on Gillette’s Facebook page and at the 2019 Inside Out LGBT Film Festival in Toronto.
Brown wrote on Facebook that he wanted to include his father in the ad: “I'm keenly aware of how blessed I am to be able to exist in this world being supported by my family in ways that all too often many of my trans brothers, sisters, and siblings who exist outside the binary are not always as fortunate.”
The spot is sensitively done; PFLAG, the group for parents of LGBTQ people, tweeted: “Oh wow, @Gillette, we are having all the feels here.”
But the ad is also getting predictable backlash. “Any company that deems their customers to be a petri dish for their social justice ideology is a company selling goods and\or services I have no use for,” someone tweeted, “Stay in your lane!”