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In January 2019, Gillette released their new DVC – The Best Men Can Be. This marked their transition (or at least start) from ‘the best a man can get’ to ‘the best the men can be’. From masculinity to standing up for social issues. From product marketing to purpose-driven marketing.

Purpose-driven marketing – being an opportunist?

There has been a significant uproar about this DVC. Many marketers and a few publications have criticized Gillette for being ‘opportunist’ and milking the #MeToo movement. Few have also voiced that Gillette’s take is a sweeping generalization of their own core TG – men. And hence not the ideal marketing message either.

On the other hand, significant others (the majority) have appreciated the brand for standing up for the social issue despite it being a complete shift from the communication that was pursued for years.

There will always be people taking sides, for or against, such campaigns. Today many of us are also eager to term them success or failure basis the creative or the video views this DVC is generating. Some of us are also pointing towards the sentiments of online conversations it’s triggering.

I personally believe that the success of such campaigns or initiatives should not be measured in mere numbers. Or even feedback on how good the particular asset has turned out (sentiments). Such campaigns must be looked at in a long term i.e. if the brand has supported this with other relevant messages and more importantly with tangible actions.

Believe in cause

It’s a good sign that brands are now standing up for causes and are bold enough to use conflicts as a central theme in communication. However, the intent must not be of short term gain, especially in digital media. Brands must back this up with sustained efforts. They could be creating a platform, facilitating conversation and actions or direct financial aid.

Consumers and digital audience, in general, are smart enough to see through the hollowness thanks to the incredible exposure and access to information. And hence, when it comes to purpose-driven marketing, the actions are as important as the intent (message) itself. And if not, will that amount to really anything?

What do you think? 

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