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Nearly 40 per cent of women reacted negatively to Gillette ad

Research comes from MavenMagnet, which will be partnering with Campaign's parent company Motivate Media Group

By Lindsay Stein

While Procter & Gamble’s aim with its new Gillette film may have been to support women and end toxic masculinity, 37 per cent of females online had a negative reaction to the spot, according to new research.

The study, conducted by multinational big data research company MavenMagnet, analysed 920,000 posts around the campaign from various sources, including forums, news sites, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and more.

New York-based MavenMagnet will be opening in Dubai in 2019, partnering with Campaign Middle East’s parent company Motivate Media Group.

In the two-minute spot, entitled “The best men can be,” Gillette calls on men to to step up their game and stand up against bullying, sexism and harassment. The voiceover says: “Is this the best a man can get? Is it? We can’t hide from it. It’s been going on far too long. We can’t laugh it off, making the same old excuses.”

Despite its good intentions, the ad caused a flood of mixed responses from consumers, including a large number who viewed the film as sexist and anti-male.

“If Gillette’s goal was to spark conversation, they clearly achieved that, based on the 920,000 posts we analyzed,” said Aditya Ghuwalewala, founder and CEO of MavenMagnet. “What they may not have expected is that 37 per cent of females had a negative reaction. High negativity was led by perception that Gillette is being unfair towards gender rights, and skepticism towards the company’s intent to make a real change.”

Additionally, the research revealed the campaign received 64 per cent negative buzz (compared with 34 per cent positive) in the first 48 hours of the video being released. The net sentiment for the campaign was “extremely negative” compared with 2,640 other brand campaigns analysed by MavenMagnet in the last two years.

From MavenMagnet’s “Aura” technology, which highlights the most impactful words around a brand, the top words for Gillette in relation to the ad include: masculinity, sexist, messaging, toxic, virtue, boycott, stand, liberal and marketing.