Business is marketing and marketing is a lot about advertising। Not just our business vision, but our advertising also should be responsible. After all, it pays to be responsible. Last month, Nivea For Men launched an advertisement for its cream, which showed a short haired, black model tossing the head of a black man with an Afro-American hair and beard. That head represented his ‘before- Nivea self’. The ad ended with the caption, “Look Like You Give A Damn…. Re-Civilize Yourself”. The ad did not go down well with the viewers as it alluded that Afro-Americans were not civilized, and people decided to not buy Nivea if it believed in such racist stuff. Nivea realized its irresponsible behaviour and quickly posted an apology on its Facebook page and withdrew the advertisement.
Advertising is a potent tool and needs to be used very carefully. Cadbury too tread on the danger line when the ad for its ‘Bliss’ range of dark chocolates ran into slight trouble this year. The chocolate bars were promoted with a strapline, “Move over Naomi, there is a new diva in town”. The black model Naomi Campbell did not take it too well and said she found it insulting, hurtful and racist. The ads were pulled out and Cadbury had to apologize to Naomi.
A little bit of sensitivity goes a long way in building a strong brand reputation. With competition increasing and with the consumer confused about product quality, these are the cues on the basis of which a consumer builds a perception about your product. Marketers should be careful about their image.
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