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The Age of Modern Masculinity

Posted by Flux on 

8 March 2019

“Be a man, Man up”, these are phrases many of us are familiar with. The layered perceptions of what these phrases mean has been at the forefront of societal introspection since the #metoo movement . The #metoo movement has highlighted the toxic behaviour and sexual violence in various industries across the world.

This has nudged brands to take an active approach to condemning social injustice with the rise of brand activism. Our trend snacks below will highlight brands that are moving into an interactive and proactive space of brand communication where, they are taking the responsibility for the part they have directly or indirectly played in exacerbating certain toxic and sometimes harmful messages – in this case, a space has been created to address or discuss the notion for modern masculinity.

Gillette: The Best Man Can Be 

The Gillette ad campaign was said to have been created as a response to the #metoo movement as a call for men to be ‘better’ and break down toxic masculinity. The ad received an outpour of mixed reviews, however its impact on provoking discussion was achieved. According to Sprout Social, a media analytics firm stated that 63% of tweets to @ Gillette were positive.


Above: Gillette’s ‘The Best Man Can Be’ campaign

Carling Black Label: #NOExcuse

This campaign was created as a response to #femicide in South Africa which has left families mourning the loss of their family members due to domestic violence. Carling Black Label acknowledged the part alcohol plays in contributing to gender based domestic violence through its #NOExcuse campaign. Donne’ Wolk, marketing manager at Carling Black Label, stated that ‘instead of deflecting blame, the company decided to take responsibility for the role beer play in gender – based violence’. The campaign comprised of a march to the South African Parliament on International Men’s day in 2017.

The brand also worked with NGO’s in communities located in Limpopo and Eastern Cape with the aim to inspire men to be better fathers, mentors and role models. The widely reached part of the campaign was in 2018, which saw a group of women perform a rendition of the popular ‘Mas’hambe Nono’ song before the kick off the largely support football clubs Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates derby.


Above: #NOExcuse Soccer Songs of Change 2018

LYNX: Men in progress

Unilever’s LYNX: Men in progress, is a nine-part series that’s dedicated to challenging the perception that society has of the modern man, while celebrating masculinity. Created by Dark Energy the organization who spoke to 70 men across the United Kingdom to record their stories and perception of masculinity. The series tackles social topics such as relationships, body image and men crying.

“Men in progress was created to highlight what it means to be a guy living in the UK and is designed to challenge labels that prevent men from expressing themselves” – David Stoddarts


Above: Men answer what it takes to be a man in 2017

By Khumo Theko
About Khumo

Flux Trends’ experts are available for comment and interviews. For all media enquiries please contact Faeeza Khan on info@fluxtrends.co.za .

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Image credit: Caleb Jones  AND Tubefilter AND 702  AND TMW Unlimited
Video credit: Gillette AND Anheuser-Busch InBev ( ) AND Lynx

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