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Winning YouTube Advertising in 2020: How Gillette Challenged Social Norms

Winning YouTube Advertising in 2020: How Gillette Challenged Social Norms

Winning YouTube Advertising in 2020: How Gillette Challenged Social Norms

Today I noticed an interesting tweet from @ThinkwithGoogle:

For those who don’t know, Think with Google is an official Google Twitter profile with the tagline of:

Insights you want. Inspiration you need. Keep up with the latest marketing trends, tools, and more from @Google and @YouTube

The tweet links to this post which I found really interesting:

In this post, Google (Tara Walpert-Levy) looks back at winning YouTube campaigns from 2019 which were judged in 2020 (during the YouTube Works Awards). During such tumultuous times for businesses operating in the UK and USA (where we share a common language), it’s important to look back on past success stories. To examine that which was successful, and how such processes and creative methodology might aid us in the future

YouTube of course, is one of the world’s largest and most successful search engines (though some dispute its position as number 2). Regardless of its exact ranking in the overall search engine size and success tables, YouTube has as many as 1,300,000,000 users (one billion three hundred million) which is simply staggering. It’s not just YouTube where videos (and video-ads) get played. Many streaming services are ad-supported, and social platforms like FaceBook and Instagram allow the creation, playback and marketing of video-ads through their ad platforms

Force for Good Award: Gillette – We Believe

This was my favourite case study on Google’s list, though Google didn’t seat this work at the top of their case study

Google’s snippet reads:

To be relevant to the next generation of men who care, Gillette updated their slogan to reflect what it means to be a man. They took stance, a risk and achieved a 4% increase in P&G Grooming organic sales

If you play Gillette’s video-snippet (from Google), it’s a really incredible story. The work from Gillette (a short movie which they released) resulted in:

  • 15-billion media impressions
  • Double-digit growth in online sales
  • They saw a 4% increase in P&G grooming organic sales
  • An increase (assumed surveyed) from 42% to 72%, in terms of how many of those (aware of the Gillette brand) felt that Gillette shared their values
  • Gillette became part of a force for change in an unfolding societal narrative
  • At least 34,700,000 (thirty-four million seven-hundred thousand) video views (at the time of writing)


Gillette: Challenging Social Norms through Digital Advertising

Gillette took their classic catchphrase (“The Best a Man Can Get”) and turned it on its head. Leveraging social narratives surrounding bullying, cyber-bullying and sexual harassment, Gillette (figuratively) changed their strapline to “We Believe in the Best in Men”

Essentially, instead of “The Best a Man Can Get” being a simple razor that you can hold in your hand, this movie challenges the audience to ask – how good can men be? “The Best a Man Can Get” is the best path of growth, for a man to become a protector and guardian of new social norms

The video played on generational moments (moment-based marketing is not new, but it is effective) and inspired parents (and guardians) everywhere to help their sons become better men of tomorrow

Even for those of us who aren’t necessarily interested in digital marketing or video marketing, I’d highly recommend giving Gillette’s video a watch. It can teach you a lot about the direction in which society is heading, the values of Millennials, Generation Z and maybe even future generations

A Brighter Tomorrow?

In 2020 it’s quite common for men to fear entering into these conversations and dialogues. For men to comment on sexism or bullying, is still seen (socially) as somewhat of a faux pas (or people can react angrily). What I liked about this video, is that it was still very much told from a male perspective, to a largely male audience (the video was relatable). The video was inspiring, but was also a challenge for men to rise to

Gillette’s video showed that men do want to be better and to carry more tolerable social-norms to societal fruition. To put it simply, men may have become a little lost in recent decades – but there still dwells strength and goodness within, if only we (and I write this, as a man) have the courage to find it

Written by

SEO & digital marketing specialist of nearly 10 years. A master of Google Data Studio, XPath and more. Applied data-driven analysis, to increase revenue and on-site conversions. Architecting information, to bring you closer to your online audience!

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