AD WATCH features marketing industry figures providing their opinions on what they think is some of the most inspiring and disappointing work they've seen. As long as it's not their own!
On this edition:
Head of strategy
Wavemaker Global Client Solutions,
HOT: THRUSH: THE MUSICAL
What a great, fun and entertaining way to talk about a condition that many women are too embarrassed to discuss: thrush. I did some reading and apparently 75% of women experience thrush in their lives, but most are too afraid to talk about it.
The campaign consists of a bespoke music video, written and produced by the Aussie YouTube female comedy trio SketchSHE, who became super famous for filming themselves miming along to tunes in their car.
In the ad, the trio dress up as SketchSHE airlines flight attendants, reassuring a female passenger who needs to take her thrush medication. Some of the lyrics are not for the fainthearted:
“Many of us get thrush, so why the hush? We want you feelin’ fine on SketchSHE Airlines. No reason for it to be taboo. Yeah, it’s just a case of thrush in your coochie coo!”
I love how they used comedy to overcome an emotional barrier and to hopefully make women with this condition feel less alone. Why is this hot? No AI, no VR, no AR, no big data, no blockchain, no social purpose. It’s good old creative based on actual behaviour, showcasing human empathy by marketers with a spine.
NOT: GILLETTE: THE BEST MEN CAN BE
The ad, launched in January 2019, plays on Gillette’s famous slogan “The best a man can get”, replacing it with “The best men can be”. While aiming to celebrate stories of men making a positive impact, it shows a compilation of extremely negative behaviours (including bullying, fighting, sexual harassment, toxic masculinity) and examples of how men can take action and create meaningful change.
Thirty million views on YouTube and 420,000 comments, most of them of people proclaiming they will never buy a Gillette razor again.
The spot is the latest entry in the category known in marketing circles as “brand purpose”. The message is clear, but the content takes it to an extreme. Rather than evoke shame, Gillette should fill viewers with hope and tell a simple, but powerful story. This could have been a win for Gillette.
Don’t get me wrong: toxic masculinity is something to be addressed always, wherever it appears. But my question is: how can a brand lecture customers on how to improve their behaviour around women, but then see no issue in charging those same women 25% more (the so-called “pink tax”) for the same five-bladed razor?
This article was produced for the May issue of Marketing Magazine. For more features, and other magazine-exclusive content from this and upcoming issues, you can subscribe to receive your print copy here or can read our digital version of this issue in its entirety here.