Gillette gets Father’s Day right with multicultural ad

After the acclaim of last year’s Father’s Day ad, Gillette decided they could get more mileage from their Go Ask Dad concept; this year they got it right.

With the viral success of Dollar Shave Club‘s videos and business concept stealing market share, traditional razor companies have had to reinvent themselves. In fact, last year’s Gillette ad was a push to their own subscription razor service. This year they toned down the sales pitch, and cranked up the emotional connection. Same concept, better execution; this time with a lot more waterworks.

Emotional videos are an oft underused advertising tactic, mostly because brands don’t want to get it wrong. Gillette shows us that even when you get the concept right, there is still room for much improvement. But Gillette is no stranger to emotion, although anything tied to the Olympics is an easy way to get your audience to shed some tears.

There is a delicate balance when it comes to emotional connections. The trick is getting the audience to see themselves in the commercial. That plays somewhat in ads with athletes or models, but it goes up a notch with “real people.” In other words people that look like their audience, are vulnerable, and accessible. Gillette does that in this year’s ad, especially linking the various cultures, and with subtitles instead of dubbed audio. When you can’t tell which of the cultures represented is the primary audience, then you know you you’ve done multicultural right. Kudos to Gillette, and Happy Day to all the fathers out there.