Gillette India addresses toxic masculinity and Byron Sharp urges marketers to ‘stay skeptical’ of programmatic

Gillette India addresses toxic masculinity with #ManEnough

Gillette India has added to the razor brand’s growing number of videos addressing the issue of toxic masculinity (see here and here) and asking why it’s still not permissible for men to be seen shedding tears or showing emotion.

Developed by Grey Group, the new two-and-a-half minute film “#ManEnough,” follows the story of Lt. Colonel Manoj Kumar Sinha, who was told by his father—a former airforce general—to be “tough and strong” while growing up. When Sinha is gravely injured during combat, he remains stoic in front of his family. “I hid my pain like dad would want me to,” he says.

The spot concludes with the two men tearfully bonding in Sinha’s hospital bed, and the father helping his injured son shave. “That’s the day we both realized that showing what you really feel doesn’t make you less of a man,” says the voiceover. “Raising a strong boy also meant telling him it was okay. It was okay for boys to cry. Men can cry. Even soldiers can cry.”

Byron Sharp issues strong warning about programmatic

The hugely influential marketing expert and author of How Brands Grow, Byron Sharp, this week advised marketers to be skeptical of the exaggerated promises of programmatic ad tech.

On his blog, Sharp compared grand promises about programmatic with the big talk about CRM a couple of decades ago: consultants promised that small improvements in loyalty would drive huge profits. “The returns from CRM investment turned out to be less than stellar, there was plenty of over-investment,” he wrote.

A similar scenario is playing out with programmatic today, he said. It should be about the efficient trading of cheap digital inventory at scale. “Unfortunately, again, this just isn’t sexy enough for the sales consultants.  So again we have overblown promises based on marketing theory and fashion not facts.”

They promise deeper relationships with customers, hyper targeting, zero wastage, and the ability to reach consumers “just at the moment they are most susceptible to persuasion.” Sharp isn’t buying it. “Stay skeptical,” he wrote.

South Dakota has meth problem

Why was everyone talking about being “On Meth” this week?

Meth addiction is the subject of a new awareness campaign from the Government of South Dakota and Minneapolis agency Broadhead (which reportedly billed $449,000 for it). The idea was to capture attention about the methamphetamine epidemic in the state, with average South Dakotans earnestly proclaiming, “Meth, I’m on it” to convey the message that meth is a problem for everyone, not just the people addicted. But the blunt headline, juxtaposed with people who definitely do not look like meth addicts, became fodder for ridicule in social media.

The campaign includes TV, radio, billboard, social and the website, which provides resources for those seeking help for meth addiction. “South Dakota’s meth crisis is growing at an alarming rate,” said South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem in a release introducing the campaign on Monday. “It impacts every community in our state and threatens the success of the next generation. It is filling our jails and prisons, clogging our court systems, and stretching our drug treatment capacity while destroying people and their families. This is our problem, and together, we need to get on it.”

Later the same day, Noem took to Twitter to respond to those mocking the campaign.

Light-blocking Apple ad taken down

A controversial out-of-home “mega ad”—most recently promoting the new iPhone 11—that had been blocking light and obscuring the view of the low-income residents in a London apartment building, has been taken down.

According to the Independent, the 120 square-metre ad covered a large section of the building’s exterior, including the windows of up to 19 apartment units. The hoarding had been in place for up to three years, said the report. Google, Amazon and Nike all appear to have advertised in that space since 2016.

Residents said the ad blocked out the sunlight and restricted their view, making them feel isolated and claustrophobic. One resident said he was admonished by the landlord for attempting to cut a hole in the ad with a knife.

A local political candidate called the ad a “gross insult” to the community, and served to underscore how multinational companies selling glamorous products are hiding the “brutal reality” of urban poverty.

The ad was installed by an out-of-home advertising company called Blow Up Media, which specializes in what it describes as “large-format, premium outdoor advertising spaces.” Company representatives declined to comment when contacted by the Independent.

Chris Powell