Dove: The ad was bad and the apology weak
Dove says it – “missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully” in its bone-headed ad showing a black-to white transformation, presumably by using Dove liquid soap.
A weak response, particularly for such an in-your-face ad. Dove would have been better off acknowledging the ad was far beyond insensitive. It actually hit the mark, as retrograde (by several generations) and regrettable as it was. To make it worse, the ad comes even as Dove touts its “social mission is to ensure that the next generation grows up enjoying a positive relationship with the way they look.”
Major public corporations such as parent company Unilever have teams of brand managers, creative staff, outside agencies, and ultimately executives in charge of marketing who singularly and collectively should have killed this ad immediately upon seeing the concept.
The question now is, where does Unilever take it from here? Hint: address it on the corporate web page and the brand web page.
Heads deserve to roll – for bad creative, for being insensitive, for not having the fortitude to stop the process. And yes, for the mambi-pambi excuse for an apology.