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Gillette launches Indian version of ‘The Best Men Can Be’ campaign taking on ‘Shaving Stereotypes’

A new campaign for Gillette created by Grey India called ‘Shaving Stereotypes’ has focused on Jyoti and Neha Narayan, sisters in rural India who took over their father’s barbershop in 2014, while still in their teens.

In the initial years, they apparently had to disguise themselves as boys because girls working in a barbershop was considered socially unacceptable. But over time, the village they lived in came around, according to the sisters.

The film chronicles a young boy accepting the gender roles extant in the society around him, until a visit to Jyoti and Neha’s barbershop causes him to question his assumptions.

The soundtrack to the film is a folk song typically sung to commemorate the birth of a boy, with a subversive twist to the lyrics.

The activation leg of the campaign saw cricketer Sachin Tendulkar get a shave from the duo and present them a cheque from the Gillette foundation.

‘Shaving Stereotypes’ also brought on board celebrity hairdresser Hakim Aalim who committed to training the girls in his salon.

Speaking about the campaign, P&G associate director and country category leader of shave care Indian subcontinent Karthik Srivatsan said: “Neha, Jyoti and the entire village of Banwari Tola are an example of how, when we take positive actions, we create meaningful change and set the right example for the next generation.

“Gillette is proud to further enable their dream through our Safalta Apni Muthi Mein [Success in your hands] program. It’s time we acknowledge that brands like ours play a role in influencing culture. Our actions need to inspire us all to be better every day and to help create a new standard for boys to admire and for men to achieve. Because the boys of today are the men of tomorrow.’’

Grey Group chief creative officer Sandipan Bhattacharyya said: “Gillette, as a progressive man’s brand, believes in and propagates topics that are relevant to raising and inspiring the future generation of men.

“And with this campaign and a powerful message like #ShavingStereotypes, Gillette drives home a point that has utmost relevance in the times we live in.”

The campaign is an Indian variant on the global ‘We Believe: The Best Men Can Be’ theme, launched to much polarisation and controversy earlier this year.

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