Response to the ‘Soldier for Women’ ad

This new ad from Gillette builds on the soldier platform adopted by the brand in an earlier campaign.

The current campaign was probably motivated by good intentions – making a positive difference and occupying a higher moral ground, while at the same time dovetailing neatly into the soldier identity that the brand was trying to establish by piggy-backing on a current issue that is top of mind for everyone.

However, I felt that the ad lacked a certain something in terms of execution. It seemed to lather on the sentiment a bit heavy and altogether lacked subtlety; my personal opinion is that a heavy message is better delivered with a gentle hand, this one played to every melodramatic instinct in the gallery – stirring music, B/W frames etc.

Worse still, the ad also seemed a bit patronising towards women. I actually thought that the nicest bit of the ad was towards the end where it spoke about respecting women because ‘when you respect a woman you respect your nation’. If all men respected women, then women wouldn’t need to be guarded and protected, would they ? (But then the ad wouldn’t appeal to macho soldierly instincts either, I guess.)

In contrast to this ad, there’s an ICICI Prudential ad that I noticed on TV yesterday that expressed a far nicer sentiment while showing everyday slice-of-life situations, ‘jo zimmedaari nibhaate hain, jataate nahin’.  Now that’s what I like; though the marketer in me is forced to admit that the Gillette ad will probably go down better with their TG than this one.

p.s. For other opinions on this, you can also watch the Gillette ad being discussed on ‘Brand Equity – Final Verdict’ on the channel ET Now by clicking on this link.

  • Zenobia Driver


  1. Shoubhik Dasgupta February 19, 2013 at 6:39 am - Reply

    I agree. Too much “in your face”. But yes, should go with the TG, as you say. Personally, I don’t use “helicopter” razors, but that’s just me!

    • escapevelocityblog February 19, 2013 at 7:07 am - Reply

      Hi Shoubhik,
      Welcome welcome, good to see you commenting on the blog. Even better to note that you agree with my point of view.
      Keep reading.

  2. RJ February 19, 2013 at 10:13 am - Reply

    I agree, good idea but poor execution. It is the only brand that has actually picked up and associated itself with this pressing issue right now, which also gels well with the image and direction that the brand was going towards.

    Also, it is nice to see Gillette moving away from talking about its products and moving towards associating an emotion, a sentiment with the brand. It gives a sense of how well established the brand is in India now, that it can actually start making the transition.

    • escapevelocityblog February 19, 2013 at 12:16 pm - Reply

      Welcome back – to our most frequent and much missed regular reader.
      Been a while since you commented on a post.

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