Commercials in American culture are wildly popular and very creative. However, when the commercial goes south, as they often do, the results can be disastrous. Case in point, the recent commercial by Summer’s Eve the maker of feminine hygiene products.
Recently, Summers Eve took a stab at marketing to African-American and Latina women. Needless to say, this advertising campaign went south, no pun intended. It was bad enough that they were hands which posed as talking vaginas. Then sprinkle a little blatant stereotype to the mix, and it was a recipe for disaster. The Latina vagina talked about giving birth to many children and losing the tacky leopard thong.
The one that takes the cake, is the African-American vagina complete with a neck roll and a mmmm mmmmm. It’s absolutely amazing that these commercials were not vetted properly to an audience who could discern sincere marketing strategy from blatant stereotype.
This will not be the last ad campaign that goes down in flames. Just as sure as God made little green apples, some other marketing idiot at a company near you will come up with some inane and insulting marketing campaign. You would think that some of these companies would learn their lesson by now. And it’s painfully obvious, that most of the white marketing directors who run these ad campaigns, just don’t get it.
These recent commercials by Summers Eve were yanked off the air almost as soon as they came out. After a firestorm of controversy they were forced to pull the ads. The Internet has lit up like a Christmas tree with blog posts and comments at various websites in a chorus of protest against Summers Eve. They should have done their homework.
In conclusion, companies should make a concerted effort to hire minority diversity consultants or at least test market their idea for an ad campaign with a focus group. At least in this way, they can properly vet a marketing campaign before it is taken to a primetime commercial. let’s hope some of these marketing companies will step up and do the right thing.