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Friday, August 26, 2011

In the aftermath of the Nivea ad mess…

It is very likely that by now you have already heard about the chaos Nivea was in because of a print ad part of its ‘Give a damn’ campaign. The piece featured a clean-shaven black man getting ready to toss away his messy unshaven head and the words ‘Re-Civilize Yourself’. Nivea ended up apologizing for, and pulling the ad after racism accusations.

A lot has been said about the ad itself in newsletters, Twitter and countless blogs around the web, so I won’t do that here. Instead, I wanted to suggest three ideas on how to prevent this from happening again in the future:

  1. DO RESEARCH! Issues like this are very likely to come up when talking to consumers, whether it is in a qual or quant environment.
  2. Make sure that your so-called general market research is representative of today’s diverse mainstream! Ethnic consumers do not live in silos. They are an integral part of the new mainstream and are exposed to your so-called general market communications. It is a best practice to always look at how different ethnic segments may perceive your advertising, even if it is not specifically targeted to them.
  3. No matter what… please do NOT just rely on Jose, Kesha or Jin to understand how your strategy will be perceived by Hispanics, Blacks or Asians in general. Talking to a person of a particular ethnic segment doesn’t mean that all consumers within that segment think, feel or behave like him or her.
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This entry was posted on Friday, August 26, 2011 and is filed under David Burgos. You can leave a response.

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