The latest Gillette ad has created quite a stir on social media with many men seemingly disapproving of the message the ad conveys.It wouldn't be the first time an ad caused controversy in the history of marketing.

The advertising industry has never been a smooth-sailing one and many-a-time, has left people scratching their heads and with mouths agape, wondering what they just saw or read. 

For instance, the 2017 Pepsi ad campaign fronted by Kendall Jenner was meant to represent unity and diversity, but instead seemed as though they were implying a soft drink could end police brutality.

It was soon removed from screens, prompting a swift apology from the beverage giant.

READ MORE: Kendall, Pepsi, and a can of worms

Then there was the Dolce & Gabbana culturally offensive Chinese chopstick-eating video series that resulted in their Shanghai show getting cancelled, and yet again, an apology needed to be issued to silence the offended voices of the people.

Exactly a week ago, South Africans were left traumatised and outraged after an Instagram live video of rap star and TV presenter Nomuzi "Moozlie" Mabena shows her talking candidly into her camera before her windscreen is shattered and a loud crash heard. 

Many had already started praying for her recovery and expressing their sadness on social media when the rapper announced the 'crash' was an extremely graphic way of emphasising the importance of road safety, which was for many a little too graphic.

READ MORE: Ethics brought into question as Nomuzi IG Live staged car accident is confirmed as part of a road safety campaign

There are countless other examples showcasing just how offtrack advertising companies can go, especially in the name of being 'woke' or attempting to - but miserably failing to - introduce a positive stance about an incredibly negative situation.

The latest ad campaign to enter the hot seat is the much-debated Gillette ad, which features an array of scenes depicting the everyday issues that not only women and children are faced, but also men, with issues such as gender inequality, bullying and catcalling among other societal ills.

It also portrays how cis men generally behave and other cis men's reactions to this kind of toxic behavior, highlighting the infamous old adage, "boys will be boys".

READ MORE: Men, your double standards are tiring

While the ad acknowledges that there are, what society considers 'good men' in the world, it basically highlights toxic masculinity and encourages men to "do and be better."

Throughout the ad, the message comes across loud and clear, as it doesn't seem to have intentions to offend in any way. However, social media was set alight and many debates were sparked, with some men even declaring that they will no longer be using the Gillette brand.

Here are some of the tweets:

This one reads "I will no longer support your company [...]"

While this user accuses Gillette of "betraying" men.

Even public figures like Piers Morgan weighed in on the matter, calling Gillette out for "globally assaulting masculinity".

This outcry from men around the world about an ad that is taking a stand against a global epidemic is quite alarming and begs the question; does the problem lie with the advertisement or with these men's bruised egos and refusal to be held accountable?

We spoke to a few men to see what their thoughts on the contested Gillette ad are.

This is what they shared:

"The ad is great."

The ad is great, it highlights problematic behaviour that we men have been conditioned to accept as normal for men. I honestly believe as men, we really do need to do better. Catcalling isn't cool, bullying isn't cool and violence isn't cool.
LJ

"The issues raised in the ad are valid."

I think the ad clearly serves its purpose, it got people talking, which is what the brand wanted. I don't think men should be offended by the ad. The issues that are raised in the ad are valid. If people don't like it they shouldn't watch it. If someone thinks it should be banned, they are proving why the ad is needed.
Timmy

"When you question a man's masculinity they tend to put their arms and guards up."

I like this ad. I think the problem is that when a man's masculinity is questioned he tends to put his arms up, that's how many wars were started. Men generally don't want to be questioned. This ad questions the toxic behaviours that have been made to seem as normal and emotions have been stirred but essentially everything mentioned in the ad is true.
John

What are your thoughts on Gillette's 'We Believe: The best a man can be' ad?

Do you think that the ad was an insult to masculinity or are men simply proving the ad's point to be true?

Share your thoughts with us here.

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