Adwatch: Gillette bringing the 90s vibe back

One thing that comes to my mind, when trying to remember ads from the 1990s, is that almost all ads back then had it’s own song. The songs were sometimes really catchy but also sometimes really dull with product features text lines. One very well known song back then, was the “best a man can get” song. Here the original song:

The brand is bringing now the song back to life with songwriter colabs in different markets and a new TVC with updated visual appearance. I picked the spots from Germany, Austria and UK as reference:

If you have watched a couple of times an original Gillette spot in the 90s, you will probably instantly remember the iconic chorus that was closing the spot at the end. The original song was more rock-like but with the songwriter colabs the tried to bring it to the level of current sounds. I think that approach is a valid one.

For the pictures they shot typical male power situations and father-son interactions, which are representing the brand positioning from that time and also the images that were used in the past spots. Here as a reference a 90s spot:

So, what to think about of bringing basically a 90s spot with new images and a re-recorder song back now? Despite some few retro-feeling been triggerd in the mid-aged male audience, this can’t be resonating well, as it brings an outdated men stereotype and value set into the present. Masculinity, power, personal success, winning are traits that came out of a 90s action blockbuster starring Arnold Schwarzenegger or Bruce Willis but have been re-defined in western modern society over the years. I mean, we are speaking here about 30 years.

To sum up: the ad is a nicely done re-boot of an iconic 90s commercial with the problem of also bringing the outdate male value system to the present, that feels completely outdated. It is nice to watch and gives you some nice childhood memories (if matched the age group), but other then that the ad feels misplaced. P&G is showing again an issue with adapting an iconic male brand to current male stereotypes (also reminds me of various Axe commercials).


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