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Gillette didn’t tell me to buzz off but they opened door to switch to Harry’s
dennis Wyatt web
Dennis Wyatt

I’d like to thank Gillette.

After using nothing but their razors since I first started shaving as a 14-year-old, I have now tried another brand – Harry’s – and I like it.

I always bought into the Gillette ad campaigns that brainwashed me into thinking you were getting the best possible shave by paying more for a Gillette product. Boy, if it is still appropriate to use a non-gender neutral word, was I wrong.

Harry’s is just as good, if not better. And I’m saying that as someone who on some days has to shave twice given I have a 3 o’clock shadow and make Fred Flintstone look like his face is as smooth as a baby.

Wait, did I just commit a faux pas and offend Gillette’s sensibilities by making a reference to a caveman even if it is a cartoon character? Gillette has made it clear what they think of their primary customers thanks to an Internet ad that infers all men since the beginning of time have been bullies, sexual predators, and oafs until the #MeToo movement set us straight.

Whoops, there I go again using language Gillette may not approve of their customer base using.

Just so David Scott Taylor – the CEO of Proctor & Gamble that owns Gillette – knows, I have never bullied anyone, I’ve gotten between people over the years (including some females, I might add that were in their teens) that were taunting gay kids, and I certainly have never acted like a jerk or a predator toward females nor have most of the guys I know.

If it is time for me to do anything, as your ad implies, it’s time for me to stop overpaying for Gillette razors and switch to Harry’s. Why should I pay more just so Taylor as the CEO of the firm churning out Mach 3 razors can lecture me about my gender’s supposedly bad behavior while implying if I don’t change my behavior (which he has no frigging idea what that is) that it is all on me while he pockets $17.3 million a year while production line workers in his manufacturing plants struggle to make ends meet.

When are we going to see Gillette or Proctor & Gamble roll out a pious Internet ad talking about the evils of excessive compensation and consumption gluttony that drives the executive suites of publicly traded companies while the workers that make their products suffer?

Instead of a cliché row of men that look like stereotypical New England Patriot fans tailgating at Gillette Field getting ready to flip burgers on inexpensive backyard barbecues as depicted in the current Gillette ad, perhaps CEO Taylor can commission an ad lecturing the world on excessive CEO compensation with CEOs sitting in a row at the Four Seasons restaurant wearing $5,000 custom suits while standing behind each one is a waiter holding flambé roasted quail doused in $500 cognac that is ready to be served.

And since Gillette is now all about being pious and delivering politically correct messages, why was there a dearth of Hispanics, Asians, and men over 50 in that clever Internet spot? Was it an oversight or does Gillette and head honcho Taylor think that Hispanics are too poor to use the Internet, Asians too studious, and older guys too stupid or inept with technology to go online?

Given how Gillette felt the need to not sell razors but paint an entire gender with a broad brush it only seems natural that anyone who finds the ad a bit wanting to do the same.

Yes, there’s a lot of talk about “the buzz” such a spot raises and how we will all forget about it so therefore any damage done will be outweighed by all of those new Millennial customers who  apparently are driven by social justice when they spend their meager paychecks (as opposed to Taylor’s massive fat one) to flock to Gillette.

Does anyone at P&G even listen to the warped logic that their marketing department is spewing? Gillette is not a brand in the league of Nike. The sporting wear and shoe firm has always sold image not product. Gillette is selling razors, not a dream. If spending money on advertising and brushing it off if it back fires is okay because people are going to forget about it, then why do it?

Bad news for the $17.3 Million Dollar Man running Pr&G, I’ve bought Gillette razors for 48 years and had no idea that your slogan was “The Best a Man Can Be.” I was buying razors not buying into a social movement. And I’m not likely to remember the new take on your slogan. What I will remember are the words “toxic masculinity” and how Gillette rolled out an ad campaign that more than implies every man since the beginning of time has been guilty of every sin that anyone who shares the same gender commits. If that isn’t ripping into men you could have fooled me.

I did not and do not need the #MeToo movement or Gillette to do the right thing. What we need is to tone down what some call the culture war that is being fought today by dropping atomic bombs as opposed to targeting the guilty within what is the offending group du jour.

I get what it is like to be bullied. I also get what it is like to be the victim of a sexual predator. Both are unfortunately firsthand knowledge.

I responded by hopefully doing the right thing as I’ve shaved my face — and legs — going through life.

Perhaps if Mr. Taylor is reading this he might snicker at the last line. I’ve been shaving my legs since shortly after I started bicycling 32 years ago. I repeatedly ignored suggestions to do so until a crash where I discovered my possibly being the “Missing Link” allowed a severe case of road rash to become infected thanks to leg hair drying under bloody scabs. I’ve continued to shave my legs as I gravitated to jogging and hiking as every time I stopped doing so and had an accident where I banged up my skin, the same old road rash problems popped up.

Funny, but that Harry’s razors I bought Wednesday seems to get my leg hairs as well as facial and neck hair a bit better than the Mach 3 razors I’ve been using.

So when I go through my current supply of Gillette razors I’m switching to Harry’s. I figure given my use of razors — often twice a day for my face and my legs every three days — and the price of a Mach 3 versus Harry’s, I’ll be able to save enough money to give an additional $20 a year to either the Boys & Girls Club or some other organization that actually is on the ground working day-to-day to encourage better behavior instead of vesting its money and energy into a pious preaching video with the bottom line of trying to create more buzz, not solve social injustices that CEOs being paid obscenely more than the 9 to 5 women and men toiling on production lines aren’t doing given they are selling products.

To be honest, I had no intention of dropping Gillette razor purchases. It was suggested to me Wednesday to try the competition that Gillette apparently is so afraid of which is why they jumped into the growing fray involving so-called social justice advertising.

They were right. Harry’s is better and less expensive.

So thanks, Mr. Taylor. The commercial was crafted well enough not to tell me to buzz off but you nicely opened the door to trying something different than Gillette. 

If that was your intent it was money well spent.

This column is the opinion of Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Ceres Courier or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.