It seems that for all Unilever’s expertise in insight generation and market research they still allowed this shocking Dove ad to come to market.
Admitting only after a massive backlash that they ‘missed the mark’, Unilever has wholeheartedly apologized and withdrawn the campaign in which a black woman uses Dove soap and seemingly turns white! Having considered every insight and message I am supposed to have taken from this communication I have to say I’m still at a loss as to what ‘mark’ they were actually aiming for.
As a Unilever alumni myself I was disappointed to see this was not the first time Dove had ‘missed this particular mark’ as 2 years ago years ago they faced similar controversy when their summer glow cream was advertised for “normal to dark” skin.
The problem here is that Dove has positioned itself as the ethical cosmetic brand with it’s pseudo-charitable ‘campaigns for real beauty’ and so forth. As I teach in my insight and Value Proposition training, once you’ve created your positioning you sure as hell want to make certain that the reality lives up to the promise. ‘Better to promise nothing, than over-promise and under-deliver!’.
Sort it out Unilever!
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