Changing Masculinity, One Ad at a Time.

Gry Høngsmark Knudsen, Lars Pynt Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In this paper, we address how brands participate in discourses on toxic masculinity through advertising. Specifically, we analyse and compare the new brand narratives from Gillette and Lynx to understand the rhetorical strategies these two brands use in their communication on toxic masculinity. Historically, both Lynx and Gillette have had strong brand narratives that portrayed masculinity in particular and stereotypical ways. Since 1989, Gillette has portrayed the dependable, yet sexy man through their slogan ‘The Best a Man Can Get’. However, in 2019, Gillette turned its brand narrative upside down and began a conversation on toxic masculinity and men’s responsibility to change it through their new slogan ‘The Best a Man Can Be’. Similarly, Lynx had a well-known brand narrative focused on ‘laddish’ charm and ‘getting the girls’ (Feasey, 2009), yet in 2017 Lynx changed their brand narrative to addressing less stereotypical masculinities (Radley, 2017).
Original languageEnglish
JournalWestminster Papers in Communication and Culture
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)63–78
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2020


  • Media, communication and languages


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