Monday, April 10, 2017

WTF Nivea? White Purity? Really?

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.

8 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Hard to believe that just "slipped through" all their ad people and execs.

Frank said...

I see how the ad is just either thoughtless or calculated. If the latter, it is more horribly offensive.

One reason I love New Mexico...the diversity surprises me daily by disproving whatever first impressions based on stereotypes I may be harboring...I am still learning about people at 69. When I lived in Connecticut, a Puerto Rican friend and co-worker always referred to me as "Anglo". I told him I was just a little offended. After all, my ancestors were olive-skinned, Southern Italians, and in my mind pretty far from Anglo. Anyhow, those supremacists should get their DNA tested.

the dogs' mother said...

What is wrong with invisible. That's what people want, not to mark up their clothes.

anne marie in philly said...

white ain't always right; thank the dogs and cats I don't buy this stupid product!

Sadie J said...

Yeah, I kind of wondered why the word "invisible" wasn't the number 1 choice, also!

Fearsome Beard said...

That's sick. It's like a dog whistle.

Theresa Young said...

Several years ago they also ran an ad with a black woman on it talking about how their product will cure that "ashy skin" problem. I haven't used it since.

Mitchell is Moving said...

Do you know how many see these ideas before they actually go into production? I just don't get how companies make such obviously idiotic decisions and then have to immediately say, "Oops! Sorry!"