I’ve always been fascinated by advertising; the slogans, the jingles, the little catchphrase that instantly tells you what product is being talked about. And I’ve always been equally fascinated by ignorance and the fact that most people don’t listen when they hear something.
I mean, how else do we explain that Nivea’s new deodorant ad seems marketed solely at the white supremacist in your family?
Nivea—and in case you don’t know, it’s a skin care company from Germany—has a brand new underarm deodorant ad campaign sure to please the Aryan in you:
“WHITE IS PURITY.”
And that photo up top is the photo that the company is using to market their deodorant in ... wait for it, it’s priceless ... the Middle East. To be fair, Nivea pulled the ad when people with brains that fire on more than one cylinder asked the question:
“What the f**k?”
The ad was intended to promote Nivea’s “Invisible for Black and White” deodorant and depicted the back of a woman’s head with long, wavy, dark hair that tumbled over a white robe toward that slogan—in all caps; and a caption on Nivea’s Facebook post read:
“Keep it clean, keep bright. Don’t let anything ruin it, #Invisible.”
Oh, so it was an ad for a deodorant that doesn’t leave marks and residue on colored garments, thereby showing the world that you use deodorant. But then someone in the ad department came up with the slogan ... “White is Purity..” ... and thought nothing, NOTHING, about it.
Many instantly condemned the ad on social media:
“What the HELL is this? White Purity?”
“Shame, Shame, Shame on you. Fire your marketing person and anyone who approved this ad.”
But others to praise the ad, like a white supremacist group that posted on Nivea’s Facebook page:
“We enthusiastically support this new direction your company is taking. I’m glad we can all agree that #WhiteIsPurity.”
“Nivea has chosen our side and the most liked comments are glorious.”
Naturally, Nivea has issued apology after apology, but it still begs the question: how many people sat in a room and heard, read, and saw, the line, “White is purity” and didn’t bat an eye?
And then there was an earlier, so-called “invisible”, ad on Nivea’s Middle East Facebook page declaring that:
“Black Stays Black. White Stays White.”
Seriously. I’m hoping heads will roll because of this, both at the ad company and at Nivea.