When I first saw the Nivea For Men ad floating around the Internet, I knew there was going to be some outrage. An ad proclaiming men to “Look like you give a damn” featuring a Black man with a decapitated afro-rocking caveman-esque head; somehow I knew people were not going to buy this as a way to “Re-civilize yourself.” Once the image started gaining more traction on Twitter and blogs, I began thinking about the comments and criticism Nivea would have to fix.
First off, I don’t know much about Nivea besides the fact Rihanna was recently announced as their new face. I’m also not a fan of spending too much money on lotion, well beauty products, like most men. Palmer’s cocoa butter is expensive enough and that’s where I’m drawing the line.
This is another example of how cosmetic companies shoddily miss the mark on advertising to minorities. Could Nivea have chosen a better image? Of course. However, they did not.
We have had this discussion before about the recent Summer’s Eve very race specific ads in their “Hail to the V” campaign. Then there was Dove with their creative model placement from dark to light; well before and after tag. And we must not forget about Carol’s Daughter featuring three of the same colored light skin women. Nonetheless, Carol’s Daughter is a minority organization who still missed the mark.
In Nivea’s defense, there is another ad similar to this campaign featuring a white male model. However, this ad is not branded with “Re-civilize yourself.” The ad featuring the white male model is branded with “Sin City is not an excuse to look like hell.” Even though there are claims for this ad, nobody has seen the actual ad in circulation. Suggestive marketing.