And so it historically goes with Dove’s marketing strategies.
One of their recent Facebook ads went left real quick when Black women saw their skin depicted as undesirable and ugly. The ad shows Black women removing their skin toned tee shirts to reveal white women in white tee shirts. The accompanying words to the ad read, “….Our revolutionary line that improves the look of your skin…” They promise ‘You’ll see more visibly beautiful skin in just one week.”
Now it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to get to the bottom of the subliminal messaging in this ad nor to understand the intended interpretation. And while Dove may not have consulted any rocket scientists, they have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for market analysis, marketing consultants with a deep understanding for psychology and behavioral science. Plainly stated, they know down to a science the impact and influence of their campaigns. Choose either one:
- Choose Beautiful
- Real Beauty
- Love Your Hair
Seems like every quarter they’ve got a new one to launch some new “revolutionary” beauty movement slyly connected to the billion dollar projected sells.
Yet with each of these Dove campaigns Black women find themselves offered Fool’s Gold. They hashtag us into this wonderful land of acceptance and empowerment, just to promote images that reinforce stigmas and stereotypes that have historically been called out as problematic to say the least, and racist to tell the truth. The outrage is nothing new. Check their track record, even as early as Spring 2017. And back in 2015. And back in 2011.
But here’s the gag…Black women go right back and spend our dollars where we are devalued.
Why? Shame on US!
Shame on us that we keep directing ourselves and our daughters to show loyalty to brands that blatantly show their disrespect to our beauty, our image, our cultural traditions and our very souls.
The pattern goes like this: Horrendous and offensive ad followed by a well-written corporate apology which is then backed by hiring the new Black champion of the company to appease us right back to the stores to purchase their goods. Rinse and repeat. See Scandal and Olivia Pope for perspective on public scandal clean ups.
Nielsen has proven to us our buying power. Don’t you know companies are paying attention to those reports as well? They are hip to the game. They see us going natural, they will tap into that market yet refuse to shed their racist views and prejudices. Understand that Dove and its parent company, Unilever, are veterans in the marketing game. They’ve been rewarded 100 times over and lauded the victor by many advertising journals, associations, etc.
And we have rewarded them with our loyalty. Why?
So the question is when will we be done with Dove and all companies who continue to devalue our magic? Will our insult level ever be as low as the value companies regard us?
Here’s a hashtag to consider #DoneWithDove. Better than that, let’s support the companies who never miss their mark because they themselves are the mark! Here’s a few BLACK-OWNED beauty/skin care companies who can benefit from your dollars and loyalty (please add more to comments):