When I interviewed Per Pedersen, global creative chairman of Grey Group Grey, at D&AD last week, I told him that it was a shame Gillette hadn’t followed in Nike’s footsteps and turned the backlash to its reframing of masculinity campaign into a conversation. Nike had built a triumph with its. Gillette had been accused of cynical advertising – using cause illegitimately – as well as walking into #Me Too territory and daring to present men who weren’t what (some) men thought they should be.
Well, I have to eat my words. Gillette and Grey Canada have created a film with perfect tone, that stands up to those that told the brand to stay in its lane and continues its work to redefine masculinity for a new era. [:ed]
It’s a Facebook documentary about a young transgender man who has transitioned to the point where he needs to shave. His dad teaches him how to do that. It’s perfectly pared down – no hyperbole or exaggerated emotion, perfectly “not didactic” and ends with a perfect message, “It’s not just myself transitioning, it’s everybody around me transitioning.”
Read that as widely as you like.
The film stars Toronto transgender activist, Samson Brown, and was released on Gillette’s Facebook page and at the 2019 Inside Out LGBT Film Festival in Toronto on May 25.
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,” he stated.
While the first film received a barrage of dislikes on YouTube, the new one is receiving a lot of support. The response on social media has been predominately positive. Gillette is continuing its #MyBestSelf work outside social media, partnering with Toronto charity and city organisation, The 519, to support its trans-inclusive programs. Gillette’s support will help the organisation to continue to provide resources and support for Canadians from all parts of the gender spectrum to have the confidence to express their authentic voices.
Here’s the story of original commercial:
Creative Agency: Grey Canada
Global Creative Chairman: Per Pedersen
Worldwide Chief Creative Officer: John Patroulis
Chief Creative Officers: Patrick Scissons, Emiliano Gonzalez De Pietri & Helen Pak,
Deputy Chief Creative Officer: Jeff Stamp
Executive Creative Director: James Ansley
Copywriter: Graeme Campbell
Art Director: Logan Gabel
Producer: Sam Benson
Account Management: Kate Beaman, Brian Weston Elizabeth Gilchrist & Darlene Remlinger
Production Company: Skin & Bones Film Company
Director: Angie Bird
Executive Producer: Liane Thomas
DOP: Jackson Parrell
Line Producer: Michelle Woodward
Editing: Rooster Post Production
Editor: Izzy Erlich
Editing Assistant: Taylor Mcwade
Colourist: Andrew Exworth @ The Vanity
Colourist: Conor Fisher, Alter Ego
Executive Producer: Melissa Kahn
Post Production Company: Fort York
Flame Artist: Paul Binney
Executive Producer: Sam McLaren
Music Company: Asche and Spencer
Sound Company: Cylinder Sound & Film
Executive Producer: Brad Nelson