Toxic Masculinity Campaign Shaved $8 Billion Off Gillette’s Bottom Line

In the attempt to increase its relevance with younger consumers, and turn around its falling market share among Millenials, Gillette launched the advertising campaign in response to the #MeToo movement.

Gillette CEO said:

It was pretty stark: we were losing share, we were losing awareness and penetration, and something had to be done.

so they decided to

Take a chance in an emotionally-charged way.

Was the “price worth paying”?

Gillette management saw guys at Nike being controversial and watching their stock price going crazy, so they decided to copy the idea and took the risk of alienating of some (many) of their customers in exchange for the possibility of increased sales.

Is this the best a man can get? Gillette ad asks.

Unfortunately for Gillette, what has worked for Nike, did not do any good for Procter & Gamble owned personal goods company. P&G reported a net loss of about $5.24 billion, or $2.12 per share ($1.89 billion, or 72 cents per share last year), for the quarter ended June 30, due to an $8 billion non-cash write-down of Gillette.

Gillette CEO Gary Coombe said he does not regret his company’s controversial marketing campaign targeted at the #MeToo movement even though the company has taken an $8 billion hit.

Mr. Coombe said:

I don’t enjoy that some people were offended by the film and upset at the brand as a consequence. That’s not nice and goes against every ounce of training I’ve had in this industry over a third of a century. But I am absolutely of the view now that for the majority of people to fall more deeply in love with today’s brands you have to risk upsetting a small minority and that’s what we’ve done.

I wonder how small the “small minority” is if it cost the company billions of dollars, and would like to know if stockholders are happy to see that kind of loss.

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