How many of you folks are going to watch the Super Bowl? Besides a halftime show which is a spectacle of its own, it’s much like any other sportsball game. The ritual generally involves yelling at the t00b for two and a half hours, as if it really matters. The viewer observes the top-level athletes closely, while a six pack and a bag of junk food are close by. In a football game, the real action lasts about ten and a half minutes. It’s interspersed with huddles, timeouts, commentators discussing the game like a strategy dialogue between Sun Tzu and Carl von Clausewitz, and lots and lots of commercials. All that’s a little silly, but it’s beside the point for now.
Speaking of commercials, Gillette has a little surprise for you coming up. Vide infra:
The video’s description begins “Bullying. Harassment. Is this the best a man can get? It’s only by challenging ourselves to do more, that we can get closer to our best. To say the right thing, to act the right way.” Then it lists a website where we can be instructed on correct thought or something. I think I’ll give that one a miss.
As for the advertisement, it’s all pretty rapid-fire, almost (?) subliminal. They crammed a lot into this minute and three quarters. It’s hard for the mind to break down analytically in one go, and this seems to be exactly how they meant it to be. Ever since the 1950s, much psychology has gone into advertisements. Edward Bernays, Sigmund Freud’s nephew, was a pioneer into this branch of applied psychology. Anyway, Gillette’s ad munchkins really pulled out all the stops on this one.
It opens with many guys who look rather shell-shocked, as if they’re contemplating their sins… This sets an emotional tone, of course. More importantly, they stand accused. Yes, guys like YOU, mister sportsball fan!
During that is a fast voiceover with the phrases: “Bullying” – “The #MeToo movement against sexual harrassment” – “toxic masculinity”. The latter is, of course, a famous buzzword in academia. However, the “toxic” part is barely audible. Nice! This implies that this normal characteristic which is part of being male is something bad. Then the question is posed – is this the best a man can get?
Then it goes into snippets showing bad behavior:
- A boy is crying on Mommy’s lap because someone called him names. Back in my day, we were told not to let that stuff get to us, which is practical advice.
- Some weirdly discombobulating TV clips. One is some party. Another appears to be some sitcom where a White guy is getting grabby on a Black lady. This looks like a new production, rather than existing sitcom footage, probably because this hasn’t been done on TV before.
- This TV studio showing one of those “hand picked audiences”, Norman Lear style, performs a laugh track. The voiceover says, “You can’t laugh it off.” Serious business here, right?
- At a meeting, a guy taps a female colleague on her shoulder, and she looks stunned. He says, “What I actually think she’s trying to say…” Of course, this symbolizes “mansplaining“, another new buzzword. For some reason, my spellchecker thinks that’s a real word.
- Two boys horsing around.
- Responding to that spectacle, the guy barbecuing breaks into a long line. It’s as if he’s between a mirror facing another mirror, though it’s actually different chubby guys with crotch-level fire pits. A chant in unison follows, “Boys will be boys.”
- A TV clip with the words “allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment” appears. Quite oddly, the announcer is a feminist with an Armenian last name who is associated with a group calling themselves the Young Turks. For those of you who were asleep during their history classes, the situation would be similar to someone named Goldberg being affiliated with a group called the Hitler Youth.
- This merges into several other newscasts. The babble is impossible to follow, but presumably it’s about more misbehavior. However, no famous leftist figures like Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, etc. actually appear on screen – funny that.
After almost a minute of this wave of pure misery, it shows examples of correct thought.
- The facial expressions on the shell-shocked men begin to change subtly. The “Wojack / Feels Guys” are turning into NPCs as the new programming starts to download into their heads.
- A football player says, “Men need to hold other men accountable.”
- Two women are at a party, who might or might not be eye-coding (it’s difficult to tell), and a guy says, “Smile, sweetie!” Another guy steps in and rescues these two damsels in distress. The “offender” backs off.
- A woman on a crowded street walks by and someone is about to introduce himself. Just as he’s barely taken a step, someone else rescues the damsel. “Not cool, not cool!”
- A couple of tough-looking youths in the street shake hands. It sort of implies that this defused a tense situation. That much isn’t objectionable; in an environment like that, shit can get real.
- A man tells his young son to repeat “I am strong.” The implication is that conforming to correct thought is strength.
- The barbecue guys shrink back down into one, and the dad breaks up the kids who are now wrestling.
- Someone somewhere else breaks up a scuffle, then back to the wrestling kids.
- Then there’s a reminder that although there are some Gutmenschen, that’s not enough. “The boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow.” Following that is a brief plug for the website instructing in correct thought.
Whew! Like I said, there’s quite a lot going on in about one and three quarters of a minute.
What’s wrong with their narrative
First of all, most of the bad behavior is pretty low-grade stuff. However, the TV commentators speaking (without any context) are talking about much more serious matters, which sort of associates it all together. (Did I mention that these guys are good at psychological tricks?) This reveals the hypersensitivity that’s become common in the feminist agenda.
The kids at the barbecue aren’t throwing punches or really trying to hurt each other. It’s normal for parents to tell kids to knock it off or tone it down. However, the way it’s presented sort of implies that there’s something wrong with horsing around. Kittens act hyper, puppies act hyper, and children act hyper too, unless they’re doped to the gills on ADD meds.
The back-to-back “damsel in distress” snippets are pretty annoying. If the guys actually were being obnoxious, it might be justifiable. Better yet, the strong and independent women could just tell them to knock it off. They were certainly in no danger. Like many of these rapid-fire clips spliced together, there’s not enough context to tell what’s really going on. I don’t recommend bad game, of course, but they’re not actually shown committing a faux pas worthy of any pearl-clutching. So the message is clear. You’re not supposed to start conversations; it’s the Current Year!
Note that in both cases, it was a White guy being the “villain” and a Black guy being the Gutmensch telling him to knock it off. Is that another subtle message there? The reality seems to be a little different. For example, that silly Hollaback video wasn’t filmed in lower Manhattan; the actress had to walk through NYC’s “vibrant” neighborhoods for ten hours to get the footage she wanted. Even then, most of them did nothing more than say “hi'”.
Anyway, if the White guy was getting too friendly with a Black woman, the interference would be understandable. He’d be told to stick to his own kind. However, that wasn’t the case here, so the “rescuer” was just being a busybody. People who take it upon themselves to cockblock for no reason are the ones who are rude.
If Gillette simply wanted to send a message about being righteous, these guys did it better:
It’s a silly movie, but Bill and Ted were onto something. It’s possible to get the point across without singling out half the world’s population.
Anyway, what would happen if one of these corporations made an advertisement discouraging women from bad behavior by some of them? You’ll never see anything like a “PMS is no excuse for acting like a brat” commercial, or something about Borderline Personality Disorder. Still, if some company did air anything like that, it would be treated as the worst atrocity since Darth Vader nuked Alderaan.
Finally, what does all this stuff have to do with disposable razors? NOTHING! Anyway, who needs them, really? I use an electric clipper that will last for years, not something that I’ll have to throw away after a few uses if I don’t want a scratched-up face. I’d go back to the Brigham Young look, except that one of my girlfriends likes me clean-shaven.
Women don’t really need razors either. All that got started in 1915 by – you guessed it – a razor company. I remember the 1970s, so I’m fine with the unshaven look. Some people might think I just stepped off of a UFO for saying so, but since that’s a natural appearance, I don’t have a problem with it. Chinese foot binding used to be considered mandatory, but I don’t get that one either.
The public doesn’t like virtue signaling
So far, the video got 1.2 million downvotes and 751K upvotes. Therefore, of the recorded reactions, about 39% approve, and 61% disapprove. That’s pretty harsh! It’s clear that they’ve alienated great numbers of consumers with their message, far more than those who got the warm fuzzies about it.
Comments on that were pretty scathing. I’m certainly not digging around and cherry-picking here. The following are the first five comments that showed up on the page when I looked at it:
Thanks for the moral advice, multi-national company that was recently caught profiting off forced child labour and price fixing.
I am so happy that we have found the edge finally of phony virtue signaling to where it can no longer benefit a company. And rightfully so hurts. When you are trying to be genuine and connect with people and it couldn’t be more disingenuous and insulting to reality this is what you deserve
Dear Gillette: What the actual. How about a positive-based commercial, not a comparison-based one? Most men are decent. Treat them like it.
Boys will be boys, but real men will no longer use Gillette
Dear Diary: today I got lectured by a shaving commercial
The first one illustrates a pretty good point. Some companies use virtue signaling as a smokescreen to draw attention from questionable practices. To them, and all others who think sociopolitical messages will sell products, I have one thing to say: GET WOKE, GO BROKE.