How Gillette, other brands use ads to tap into social movements

Their latest ad addressing "toxic masculinity" in the #MeToo era has generated controversy and conversation, and other companies have integrated powerful messages into their sale pitches.
4:56 | 01/17/19

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Transcript for How Gillette, other brands use ads to tap into social movements
Is this the best a man can get? Reporter: A brand associate the for decades as ma cheese mow taking a swing. Updating its best a man can get slogan in the me too era with a new call to action, be the best a man can be. It's been going on far too long. Reporter: Encouraging men to take a stand against so-called toxic masculinity. We believe in the best for men. Reporter: It has become the latest spasm in the debate about me too and male behavior. Some have come out to support the commercial, Rosanna Arquette. Some accuse Gillette of os tentation wokeness. Many tweeting the #boy cot Jill et cetera while throwing out their razors. There's a lot of outcry, can't I just shave my face without having political correctness shoved down my throat? Reporter: This commercial is a sharp turn for Gillette. The brand has long celebrated traditional masculinity, the chiselled man, playing sports or working on Wall Street. The best a man can get. Reporter: Gillette is just the latest to tackle social issues in marketing. Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. Reporter: Nike tapped former pro quarterback Colin Kaepernick as it's just do it campaign. Don't ask if your dreams are crazy, ask if you're crazy enough. Reporter: The company seeming to take sides in the debate over kneeling for the national anthem which Kaepernick started. That immediately sparked controversy. Sorry, Nike. I've been buying you for the past 20-plus years, not anymore. Reporter: But Nike's move seems to have paid off. The revenue soared after that release. It was a calculated risk by Nike. They determined that the audience that would be receptive to that message was more important to them than the audience that would not. Reporter: Procter & gamble which owns Gillette has not shied away from topics. Pantene launched strong is beautiful campaign, encouraging fathers to be more present in daughters' lives. It's not enough to run an ad and say our product is the best. You have to get attention and be talked about. Reporter: Dove broke the mold when it introduced real beauty campaign, ads focussed on body positivity. Since then, companies have followed with mixed beer. Reporter: Budweiser tackled the issue of immigration during 2017. A huge percentage of Budweiser drinkers are immigrants to this country, a very calculated choice. Reporter: But some commercials have notoriously missed the mark. When Pepsi released this ad featuring Kendall gender, using soda to diffuse tensions between police and protesters, many spoke out. Dr. Martin Luther king's daughter tweeting if only daddy would have known about the power of Pepsi. Pepsi subsequently apologized and removed the spot. Gillette is standing by its spot, writing in part, as a company that encourages men to be their best, we have a responsibility to make sure we are promoting positive, attainable, inclusive and healthy versions of what it means to be a man. The big question now, will men The good news for them is they're getting a lot of free airings of their ad without buying the time, but if consequently they lose customers, it probably wasn't a great marketing decision and only time will tell.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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