26 Oct'17

Attempting to reach a diverse audience; but missing the mark

Dove apologises on Twitter for recent marketing campaign following accusation of the video content being racist.


The Dove body wash campaign was a video of three women of different ethnicities each removing their top to reveal the other woman. The imagery was interpreted as the black woman turning white.



In their apology Dove said, we ‘intended to convey that Dove body wash is for every woman and a celebration of diversity, but we got it wrong.’ They added, ‘We apologise deeply and sincerely for the offence that it has caused and do not condone any activity or imagery that insult any audience’.


Lola Ogynyemi, the woman in the Dove advert, wrote in The Guardian to say that although she is able to ‘see how the snapshots that are circulating the web have been misinterpreted’, she believes that she feels that the ‘narrative has been written without giving consumers context on which to base an informed opinion’.


Dove’s body wash marketing campaign in May of this year also received criticism.


Dove launched limited edition body-shaped bottles. Their aim was to ‘celebrate this diversity: just like women, we wanted to show that our iconic bottle can come in all shapes and sizes, too.’


However, many consumers did not interpret Dove’s aim. Instead many took to Twitter to mock the campaign:


Speaking to PR Week about Dove’s most recent marketing campaign backlash, Sophie Kostrowski, co-founder at ad agency Live & Wired, said ‘The fact is, the advertising world requires us to target broader markets than ever before and yet the lack of diverse thinking is becoming apparent.’


Consumers have voiced their opinion that Dove have missed the mark in both of these campaigns, resulting in both campaigns to be quickly withdrawn.