The personal care brand Gillette launched this advertising campaign in 1989, at the time when the Cold War was an ongoing global concern, and sexual harassment and misogyny in the workplace were hardly discussed in public. The campaign kicked off during the US Super Bowl of that year.
Created by the advertising agency network BBDO Worldwide, Boston, it featured white, middle-class men achieving prosperity: playing football, doing well at work, pursuing a woman. The video conjured the image of the businessman alpha male from Wall Street, who was held up to the viewer as the epitome of success. The slogan was translated into 14 languages, and the ad campaign ran extensively in North America and Europe. It remained in widespread use a decade after it was first introduced.
With their more recent campaign “We Believe,” which will also be screened in the exhibition space, the company challenged the very same standards of masculinity that it once promoted in the 1980-90s.