Companies love to use realistic and touching stories to pull on our heartstrings and earn our brand loyalty, but Gillette has just won the advertising game by featuring an actual father and son duo in their new ad. As part of their #MyBestSelf campaign, Gillette shared a monumental first between artist Samson Bonkeabantu Brown and his father, with the two men engaging in the longstanding tradition of a father teaching his son to shave. In the case of Brown, a transgender man, this moment was filled with significance.
“Growing up, I was always trying to figure out what kind of man I wanted to become and I’m still trying to figure out what kind of man I want to become,” says Brown in the ad, which features the Toronto native at home with his father. “I went into my transition just wanting to be happy. I’m glad I’m at the point where I’m able to shave.”
The celebratory clip shows Brown repeating his father’s instructions on how to shave, with the elder Brown telling his son “Don’t be scared. Shaving is about being confident.” Well, that’s just good advice for life in general.
Sharing the ad on his Facebook page, Brown writes “I shot this ad for Gillette and wanted to include my father, who has been one of my greatest supporters throughout my transition, encouraging me to be confident and live authentically as my best self.” It’s Tuesday and we’re already at our cry quota for the week.
Brown continues, writing, “I’m keenly aware of how blessed I am to be able to exist in this world being supported by my family in ways that all too often many of my trans brothers, sisters, and siblings who exist outside the binary are not always as fortunate. I am confident that this ad will encourage many of my trans siblings and fill them with the knowledge that our existence in this world can be filled with the love and support we deserve. Be good to yourselves. Love yourselves. And know that when you greet the world with love, it can and will love you back, often in the places you least expect.”
Can someone give these men their own TED Talk already?
Gillette’s new ad is the second groundbreaking campaign from the razor company this year, with the brand first making waves in January 2019 with The Best A Man Can Be campaign. The commercial called out the constant dismissing of toxic masculinity behaviour as ‘boys will be boys’ and lost Gillette some customers, but gained them a huge amount of credibility by people who are against bullying, homophobia, misogyny, etc. You know, decent people.