New Gillette ad another eyebrow raiser
GILLETTE says it wants to break "yet another stereotype" with a new ad that says it's OK for men to cry.
The ad, released by Gillette India for International Men's Day, tells the moving story of Lieutenant Colonel Manoj Kumar Sinha, who was shot through the jaw in the line of duty in 2010.
He describes how his father always told him to be a "man" and not cry - until he was recovering in hospital from his injury.
"That's the day we both realised showing what you really feel doesn't make you less of a man," he says in the ad.
"Raising a strong boy also meant telling him it was OK for boys to cry. Men can cry, even soldiers can cry."
It's the second ad from Gillette India in a campaign called "#ShavingStereotypes", which earlier this year featured two women who took over their father's barber shop.
"Men expressing their vulnerability through tears is being #ManEnough," Gillette said in a media release.
"As a leading male brand, Gillette aims to pave the way for men to rethink their notions of masculinity and strength."
In a statement, Sandipan Bhattacharyya, chief creative officer at advertising agency Grey Group, said Gillette was a "leading male brand and advocate for men" that "believes in igniting conversations that raise and inspire the future generation of men".
"With #ManEnough, we want men breaking free of notions that crying makes them weaker, and that it takes courage to show your vulnerability," he said.
P&G India's Karthik Srivatsan said Lt. Col. Kumar and his father "are true heroes who've shown us that when we get past stereotypes that constrain us, we can emerge stronger together".
"Gillette salutes their spirit and is proud to have had the opportunity to be part of their journey," he said.
"We are committed to Gillette being a force for good and want to continue to bring real life positive stories of men, and play a role in influencing culture. Our actions need to set the right standards for the boys of today to be men of tomorrow."
In August, Gillette's Australian arm released an ad featuring personal trainer and firefighter Ben Ziekenheiner.
At the time, a representative said the razor brand was "shifting the spotlight from social issues to local heroes".
That came after a controversial ad in January demanding men "shave their toxic masculinity" caused a customer backlash.
The "We Believe" ad, which depicted various scenes of men bullying and catcalling women, was labelled by some in the media as an "attack on men".
Gillette then followed up with an ad featuring a father teaching his transgender son how to shave for the first time.
In June, parent company P&G reported a nearly $12 billion ($US8 billion) writedown in the value of the 118-year-old shaving business it purchased in 2005 for $84 billion ($US57 billion).