Global brands spend millions of dollars a year on advertising and seasoned marketing professionals, but somehow, they can still get it so wrong that their campaign hugely backfires and, in some cases, manages to be banned. From Nivea to Pepsi here are last year’s biggest mistakes from these worldwide brands.
Dove Body Lotion- Real Beauty
Ordinarily, at the forefront of the skincare industry, Dove came under attack for not one but two campaigns this year.
One showing a black woman transforming into a white woman after she had used the Dove body lotion, was for obvious reasons immediately shot down by the public when first posted to Facebook. The racist advert apologized and said they “missed the mark” and blamed the marketing team by saying they “should have known better”.
However, the damage was done, and many social media users called for the boycott of Dove’s products. This was not the first time they have been racist when it comes to their advertising. 2011 Dove’s before-and-after advert again showed the transition from black to white. They clearly didn’t learn their lesson, and a huge sense of irony when it comes to the “Real Beauty” campaign.
Kendall Jenner Pepsi Co.
It’s always a risky move incorporating politics to sell your brand, and Pepsi is the perfect example.
Last year was a year full of political difficulties. Police racism & brutality videos coating our social platforms, shootings and multiple terror attacks. Pepsi argued they were “trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding”, but people simply found it insensitive. It was making light of a very serious issue which simply cannot be solved by handing someone a can of fizzy drink. As you can imagine the advert was swiftly pulled from any further rollout.
Among those mocking the advert was Bernice King, who tweeted a photo of her father, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, being confronted by a police officer at a protest march. “If only Daddy would have known about the power of Pepsi,” the tweet said.
Nivea-‘White is Purity’
Well, the name of the advert says it all really.
Another skincare advert that sparked controversy for its racist undertone was Nivea’s campaign for deodorant with the words ‘White is Purity’ plastered across the image of a white woman.
It was condemned on social media but sadly also spread among alt-right social accounts, who trolled the Nivea account with comments, and images of Hitler and Pepe the from, who was branded a hate symbol last year.