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clothing

Dakarai Turner

New Year, New Controversy: Is H&M Racist?

January 9, 2018

It hasn’t even been two weeks but here we go. Yet another racially insensitive image from a well known brand has caused an uproar. Last year it was ads from Nivea, Pepsi, and Dove. This year we have H&M starting the inevitable list. However, this time it’s not even an ad that’s the problem. It’s a product featured of a young black boy. For those unaware, a Twitter user spotted an image of a black child sporting a hoodie that reads “coolest monkey in the jungle” on the H&M UK site.

Absolutely jaw dropping. Not only are people on social media tearing H&M apart, but the brand is also losing celebrity collaborators in the process. The Weeknd, who debuted a collaboration with H&M last year has announced that he’ll no longer be working with them in the future. Who’s next? Moments like these certainly put pressure on celebrities that are affiliated with the brand. Do you stay silent and let it boil over, or do you take a stand and cut ties? For example, would you look at Kevin Hart differently if he chose to not do anything in the midst of all of this? For context, Kevin and David Beckham collaborated with H&M for their fall collection.

I’ve tried my best every time something like this happens to think of how it happened in the first place. With a company as big as H&M, a product shot doesn’t just simply make its way to the website. There are processed (or at least should be). Rounds of approvals along the way in which at least one person should have questioned this image. Producer and The Roots member, QuestLove took to Instagram to say the following “all this tells me about @HM is that the seats in the boardroom lack something…wanna take a guess?”. The answer is people of colour. Although we’re starting to see more diverse groups in the advertising and marketing industry, it takes these people being decision makers to stop an image like this one from going out to the masses.

Everyone’s upset, so what happens next?
  • H&M has issued an official written apology, however, according to the public comments people are not buying it.
  • If consumers don’t forget about this in two days, we’ll actually see more celebrities drop out of their H&M partnerships and legitimate boycotts.
  • On the flip side, we might even see less diversity used amongst brands. If you’re scratching your head at this point, hear me out. We’ve seen the effect these situations have on a brand. Being called racist from your consumers doesn’t help you in any way. Is it so crazy to imagine that in making an effort to not offend certain races, brands will simply minimize the use of those races in their ads? I mean, even more-so than they already do of course.
Is H&M racist?

Racist? No. Culturally ignorant and insensitive? Absolutely. To put it simply, they messed up in a major way. During a time where racial sensitivity is high, brands need to take the extra step to ensure they aren’t offending a whole group of people. Common sense, am I right? At the end of the day you have to ask, “how many people did this have to pass through?”. “Did the boy’s parents approve the final image?” “How’s H&M going to repair the damages?”. I don’t have the answer to these questions, but it’s important that they’re asked.

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed in account services for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap: December 2 – December 8

December 8, 2017

With the world of advertising and marketing moving so quickly, it can be hard to keep up with trends, ads, and more. Not to worry, we have you covered. This week, we recapped some of our favourite ads that happened throughout the week. Enjoy!

Written by Dakarai and Malick

Frank And Oak Celebrates Diversity

D: The clothing brand has recently released their “And” collection supported by a 90 second online video. The And collection offers t-shirts, sweaters, and other materials in a unisex fashion, meant to support diversity and the differences we all have. This is certainly a switch in messaging for the brand who will usually have product and utility focused messaging, while this campaign focuses on people and emotions. With the retailer recently jumping in the female clothing space, a unisex campaign like this goes a long way in showing that they don’t just offer men’s clothes and that they are truly a brand for everyone. The 90 second spot itself is a work of art. It features groups of diverse people and the voiceover is a poem from hip-hop artist Cadence Weapon. Be sure to check it out below.

 

ESPN Millennial Ratings Boost

M: Who says that cable cutting is a bad thing? ESPN has reported that their millennial ratings have gone up 33%. This is a result of transitioning to Nielsen’s total live audience member metric which combines streaming and out-of-home viewing along with traditional channels. This is huge. Why? It shows that young people are still watching sports and tuning into their favourite networks – just in a non-traditional way. Myself included, I can’t remember the last time I watched a game on TV without streaming it. What could this mean in the future? More accessibility on mobile devices to live sports, or in other non-traditional out of home environments. I think this is pretty legit considering it furthers the case of avoiding purchasing traditional TV packages for the sake of a few channels. In the future, I’d like to see more streaming services on mobile/out-of-home methods provided by larger networks, rather than illegal streaming sites. Only time will tell.

 

That’s our weekly recap to keep you up to date on the best ads, trends, and more that we could find over the week. You can check out our last weekly recap here. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (September 9 – September 15)

September 15, 2017

In the world of advertising and marketing, a lot can happen in a week-not to worry, we have you covered. Check out some of the biggest trends, ads, and stories that have been happened this week in our recap below!

Written by: Malick and Dak

 

Lululemon Releases Their First Male Focused Campaign

D: Lululemon, the brand rightfully associated with woman’s yoga pants is starting to shine light on the fact that they also have men’s clothing with their new campaign. I for one can admit I realized this for the first time a few months ago, and I’m sure there are tons of other men that still think it’s only a women’s brand. Their new campaign “Strength to Be” questions the status quo of what it means to be a man and “manly”. This reinforces the idea that a man can be much more than simply their physical strength. Each video ad features a different athlete, public figure, or musician telling a story about how they’ve overcome adversity with internal strength and self-awareness. One of the examples is Orlando Cruz, who was the first boxer to come out publicly while still fighting. He describes the fear he had initially and what it took for him to make that announcement. Check out a couple of the spots below.

Australian Lamb

M: Literally what did I just watch? Recently, an Australian lamb company had released one of the most bizarre commercials I’ve seen in a while. The spot depicts several religious figures including Jesus, Zeus, Moses and more, gathered around a table sharing a meal with who seems to be an ordinary woman. The spot opens with the “gods” saying how much they love the food with a response from the woman saying “Well that’s a relief. It’s a nightmare catering to you lot with all your dietary requirement.” Littered with even more terrible religious jokes, this spot has received a number of complaints from people offended about the misrepresentation of their god and religion in an oversimplified way. I thought this had to be one of the strangest ideas for an ad in a while. Knowing that a number of people hold their religious beliefs very close to them, I don’t see how this made it through any sort of approval process. Not only is it kind of offensive, but it’s just doesn’t deliver. I’ll leave it to you to judge, check out the spot below:

Apple releases “Dear Apple”, a short film

D: Coming hot off the Apple event earlier this week where the brand announced the iPhone 8 and iPhone X comes a short film centred around the Apple Watch. “Dear Apple” details not only the functional benefits of the tech but also dives into the emotional benefits. The concept of the film follows real customers narrating real letters they’ve sent in to Apple thanking them for a particular situation. The majority of the stories are surrounding the health benefits of the watch as it will give you key statistics that can help with your workout. One of the stories featured in the film is of a man that was severely injured in a car accident that left his car flipped on its side. He details how he was able to use the “SOS” feature on the Apple Watch to get help. Brilliant idea for the film!

 

That’s our weekly recap to keep you up to date on the best ads, trends, and more that we could find over the week. You can check out our last weekly recap here where we gave our thoughts on the latest Pepsi ad. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Dakarai Turner

Fashion Nova: A Look Into the Viral Store’s Marketing Tactics

September 12, 2017

Can we just take a moment to talk about Fashion Nova? I almost feel like this brand doesn’t even need a set-up. Why? Because ever since 2016 I’ve seen a post about Fashion Nova jeans or their other clothing just about every day on my Instagram feed. Now I don’t follow the brand, but thanks to the thousands of social media influencers, their messaging will get to me one way or another. However, for those of you that don’t use Instagram, Fashion Nova is an LA based women’s retail company known for their low prices and social media domination.

The CEO of the brand has stated that they use anywhere from 3000-5000 influencers online, and this is where this domination comes from. Is the clothing great? YouTube reviews lead me to believe that the clothing feels relatively cheap and average, however, the crazy thing is I’ve never actually met anyone that has bought their pieces.

So let’s talk about the influencers. Fashion Nova has tapped into the audiences of Kylie Jenner (97M followers), Cardi B (9.5M followers), Amber Rose (16M followers), Nicki Minaj (83M followers), and literally thousands more with anywhere from 1K to 10M followers. The sponsored posts are fairly similar in their tone and content. They are all about letting the public know that Fashion Nova is the cheapest way to look great and to use their personal code for a discount. The brand offers $20 rompers, $30 jeans, and $50 dresses on top of a large amount of other pieces.

Richard Saghian, the founder and CEO commented on their strategy in an interview with Vice: “It’s kind of like this ripple effect. The more people shout us out, the more their fans shout us out. Kind of like a viral Youtube video. We’re a viral store”. Fashion Nova does a great job squandering the web for the latest trends and then reproducing them. In fact, as of this year the clothing brand has over 600 employees and is able to produce 500 new clothing designs each week. The numbers are astonishing and it was all primarily built off of the help of influencers. Why does this work? For the simple reason that you’re likely following the influencer (most of the time an Instagram model) because you like the way they look, dress, and their personality. If they were to promote designer brands with a designer price tag, the chances of you breaking the bank are fairly slim. Now if the influencer such as Cardi B is showing you that she wears $30 jeans on a regular basis, and provides you with the source for her clothing, you’re probably going to try it out. Am I right?

Fashion Nova has to be one of the best current examples of how brands can effectively use influencers on social media. Their network of brand advocates easily reachers over 100M people collectively and with the frequent posts, it has allowed Fashion Nova to truly become a viral store. Whatever that means.

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (April 29 – May 5)

May 5, 2017

Written By: Malick, Dakarai, and Kathleen

As advertisers gear up for summer, you can expect a lot of action in the coming months. Not to worry, as usual The MAD Mix has you covered for the hottest trends, ads, and more. Check out the latest in the advertising and marketing world in our weekly recap below:

 

Nike-Breaking2 

M: If you follow this platform regularly, you’ll know that Nike is a favourite of ours. From quality production to delivering a solid product, they seem to do no wrong in their advertising. In their latest endeavour, Nike has spent time creating one of the most innovative running shoes they’ve created to date. The purpose? Tomorrow, Nike and people form all around the world will attempt to break the two-hour marathon running record. The shoe that they’ve designed has so much technology invested in it that they want to encourage people to do that feat using their new shoe titled “The Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%”. This marathon is all apart of Nike’s constant desire to push the limits of human athleticism time and time again, and if there’s any shoe to do it, it’s this one. Check out the spot they’ve created for it below. Anyone else want to give it a go?

 

Spotify Awkward Family Moments

K: We all have a song that is attached to a moment or event that happened in our life. Whenever you hear the song it reminds you of that specific time that you will probably never forget. It can either make you happy or sad whenever you hear it. Spotify needed a way to promote their family plan, so what better way than to tie it with your emotions? Spotify decided to play on that but relate it to family moments, more specifically awkward family moments. Some people might find them too sexual but I think it is funny especially the second one. Check out the two videos below.

 
The Sunny Co Bikini Giveaway

D: If you live in the U.S, chances are your Instagram feed was absolutely covered with the same picture of a model in a red bikini. For those of you that are completely lost right now, a swimsuit company by the name of Sunny Co decided to announce a 24-hour giveaway on Instagram a couple of days ago. The now deleted post asked consumers to repost the picture of a model wearing the bikini and tag the brand in order to receive the usual $65 swimsuit for the price of only shipping and handling.

If you can’t already predict what happens next, tens of thousands of people reposted the image, and this ultimately revealed the lack of preparation behind the whole promotion. Following this, Sunny Co decided it would be a great idea to update the conditions of the deal on their website and included a note that stated the company “[reserved] the right to cap the promotion if they deem necessary.”. As you can imagine, they got torn a part on social media and hopefully this serves as a lesson for brands. The whole thing comes off as very “fyre fest-ish”. In the sense of complete unprepared bait and switch tactics or plain negligence. From unknown to hated in 24 hours. But hey, at least people know their name now right? Check out some of the best meme’s below.

 

That’s our weekly recap to keep you up to date on the best ads, trends, and more that we could find over the week. You can check out our last weekly recap here where we gave our thoughts on the latest Pepsi ad. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter