In what can only be described as a brand nightmare, Dove posted a three second ad that showed a black woman, pulling off a shirt only to reveal a white woman, then the white girl takes off her shirt and there's an ethnic girl. The ad was only up for a bit, but not before it was noticed and shared over 3,000 times and trended on Twitter. People blasted the company for the racist ad. They issued what many consider to be a halfhearted apology saying they were sorry about the video 'missing the mark'. Missing the mark? How about whoever approved this ad for public use in the USA 'missed the plot!"
The real truth is that the girl on Twitter who called out Dove left out the third girl. Her picture made the ad look racist. The ad, in it's final form, was not racist. It was only racist looking when the girl on Twitter posted the black/white girl, but removed the third girl.
Dove made a further statement in which they attempted to convey that the ad in question was meant to say that Dove body wash is for woman of all colors and was to be a celebration of diversity. i'm no advertising expert, but I don't see anything diverse about this ad. It would have made more sense to have four girls of different nationalities. Then it wouldn't look like a black girl turning into a white girl.
Here's the video from Twitter. It actually shows three different nationalities, so it's not actually a racist ad - like I said before. However, there's so many people out there who will MAKE this a racist ad, so we'll continue the article going with the flow. Just remember, think for yourself.
The Unilever-owned company said that the advert should never have happened and that it would evaluate its internal processes for creating and approving ads that are to be made public in order to prevent a misunderstanding like this in the future. They asserted that they are sincerely sorry about the incident and that their company does not condone anything that insults any particular audience.
Apparently this was not the first time Dove has been caught releasing offensive advertising.
In 2013 they released a campaigned in which one advertisement showed a split screen before and after photo, with a black woman as the before and a white woman as the after. Dove proclaimed at the time that all of the women featured in the photo were representing the 'after' and apologized if it was not received as intended
While this is clearly offensive in nature, it's not entirely off base with regional trends had this advertisement been shown in in Africa or Asia. Skin-whitening lotions, from big conglomerates to smalltime, lesser known lotions cater to the great demand for these type of products in their regions. There are quite a few stories of Africans actually using bleach directly on their skin in order to appear lighter. In Asia, the fairer their skin tone, the more appealing the models are though to be, and in effect, the Asian people generally also believe this to be true.
Dove, however, released this ad to the US market where lightening your skin is not a popular thing and Dove never once denied that the ad was intended for the US, not Africa or Asia, where I, personally, would have been more understanding since I know those markets well. It wouldn't have been a great ad, but it would've made sense for that demographic of people who actually do use skin lighteners. Americans are more prone to use tanning solutions to darken or bronze their skin.
Sammy Sosa and Michael Jackson would probably use Dove if they knew it made you white.
Many Twitter users are calling for more transparency about who is responsible for this gaffe and its approval for public consumption.
In jest, I'm not sure a black girl would want to be turned into a pale redhead.
And finally - the only way Dove can make up for this is to turn their white soap into black soap. Show people they're serious and provide us with a black soap.
If you don't buy it, then you're racist.
If they don't make it, then they're racist.
Dove - your call!