White middle class rules in advertising industry
The fact that the Dove ad was approved underlines the reality that the advertising industry globally is still one of the most untransformed.
One of the cardinal rules of advertising and marketing is: you are not the target market.
The people who create the campaigns we see in newspapers, TV, on the internet and on billboards need to bear in mind the customers they are aiming at probably do not have the same interests or values as them.
Failure to pay attention to that rule is the biggest reason many ad campaigns fall flat. In the worst-case scenario, a failure to appreciate a broader audience, or a mood in society, can lead to serious brand damage. That is exactly what has just happened to Dove, the soap makers.
They posted a brief video on Facebook which showed a black woman removing her top, to reveal a white woman underneath.
Many people found the ad to be racist and when you view it impartially, you must ask: did no one in the ad agency foresee the possibility that this might offend?
The fact the ad was approved underlines the reality that the advertising industry globally is still one of the most untransformed and represents the world view of the white middle class.
Until that changes, there are bound to be more incidents like this.