Gillette is taking its message about what it means to be a man to outside the U.S. with a new campaign from Proximity Spain titled “It Takes A Real Man.”
A voiceover at the beginning of the ad, which was directed by Miguel Angulo, says that men are always being told how to behave. It then asks, “Are you man enough to admit you’re afraid?” leading into footage of singer Dani Martín playing to a packed crowd.
The spot continues to riff on the question “Are you man enough?” applying it to a variety of circumstances related to five other Spanish celebrities, including actors Paco León and Jesús Vidal, synchronized swimmer Pau Ribes, soccer star David Silva and photographer/drag queen Rubén Errebeene. Ribes is shown shaving his legs before a routine and asks if viewers are “man enough to swim upstream,” while Silva asks if they are “man enough” to put family first. Errebeene appears in drag in the ad and asks if viewers are “man enough to be a queen.”
In the end, it all boils down to one question: “Are you man enough to be you?”
In addition to the full 45-second ad, the campaign also includes two 20-second spots, as well as a series of testimonials from celebrities explaining what “It takes a real man” means to them and a social media campaign centered around the celebrities and the hashtag #ittakesarealman.
“Developing this project with Gillette has been a real privilege. Few brands have the kudos needed to launch a message of this type, which requires both standing and courage, but Gillette Spain has both,” Proximity Worldwide CCO Eva Santos said in a statement. “Great care has been taken with every detail, from the campaign audio-visual production and graphics to how the concept is addressed, from the discussion phase through to execution, since the project also has educational aspirations. In short, our agency is very proud of this project, which strengthens our commitment to help brands to find these important stories to tell. And if those stories can help to make the world a freer place, all the better.”
The campaign was based on insights derived from a study on masculinity sponsored by Gillette and conducted by Salvetti Llombart. According to the study, 75% of Spanish men do not identify with traditional male stereotypes. Seventy percent of respondents said they struggled to fit these stereotypes; meanwhile, 45% reported feeling pressured to fit within societal norms, according to the study. There’s reason to hope for the future, however, as over 80% said they plan to change, or are already changing, the way they bring up children free of these stereotypes.
“Brands need to pay attention to issues that affect and concern our consumers,” P&G head of beauty and corporate marketing Javier Riaño said in a statement. “In the case of Gillette, historically linked to men and masculinity, we want to use our voice to launch a modern, positive vision of what it means to be the best version of a man.”
To move toward that goal, Gillette is funding a program of interactive chats with teens where they can discuss, in a secure environment, the concept of masculinity and how it doesn’t have to prevent them from acknowledging feelings or prevent them from self-expression. The program is being developed by psychologists and sociologists and will include collaborations with universities and other institutions. As of this September, it will be provided for around 20,000 boys and girls aged 16-18 in 320 schools throughout Spain.
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