Our Rage, Their Revenue Opportunity

Don’t Let Gillette Steal Your Thunder

Why It Matters

The marketization of social justice can feel like razor burn. When we practice politics through purchases, civil society efforts are eclipsed. This trend is likely to continue, however, because social malaise is a deep well from which corporations can draw.

I have seen some decent tweets about the Gillette ad on toxic masculinity and the attendant risks of a sharp razor against thin skin.

All chuckles aside, once I step away from the peanut gallery, I can’t help but think how Gillette, Dove, and other brands have mastered the public discussion on social issues of our day as they market progress one product at a time.

Emotive ads with a cinematic tinge and viral appeal are aimed at empowered women—who are also the ones usually making the household purchasing decisions. Handy, that.


So, isn’t it a good thing if advertisers address gender issues? After all, commerce occupies so much of our public and digital space, so it should be relevant. And for years, ads preyed on women’s insecurity.

Yes and no.

A better dialogue is an improvement, of sorts. I just wish social impact organiz

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