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Dakarai Turner

Racially Insensitive or Exaggeration: Dove’s Latest Ad

October 10, 2017

Maybe you’ve seen the headlines this weekend: “Dove is racist”. This all stemmed from a screenshot released online of a now pulled Dove Facebook ad. At it’s core, the ad depicted a black woman using Dove’s body wash and essentially turning into a white woman. Yikes, right? After immediate consumer backlash, the ad was removed and Dove issued a Twitter apology.

People were not happy with the apology and this turned into a social media uproar filled with angry tweets and consumers stating they would boycott the Dove brand. The problem was that to everyone that never saw the original ad (including me), their only point of reference was the image being circulated with the original Twitter users’ handle stamped in the centre. No matter how hard I dug, I couldn’t seem to find the original ad at the time (without the Twitter handle) which led most people to believe that the ad being circulated was  in fact the real thing. Now if it isn’t completely apparent, the problem with the ad is that it’s tone deaf and depicts a black woman as dirty, and a white woman as clean. It’s worth nothing that this wouldn’t be the first time that Dove has been accused of racially incentive ads as well as products.


Several hours later the original ad posted began to submerge and the reaction of consumers took a major turn. What initially appeared as a black woman turning into a white woman was dispelled as there is a third woman that appears afterwards. The purpose of the ad stated by Dove was to convey that Dove body wash is for every woman and be a celebration of diversity“. What the ad lacked was racial sensitivity, and this should be a lesson for every brand out there that is trying to communicate a message surrounding diversity. There is a long history of brands using the idea that a black person is inferior to a white person, and by having the black woman first in this sequence, the message can be misconstrued and taken out of context. Do I believe that Dove is a racist brand that did this on purpose? Absolutely not. However, at the same time there needs to be someone with a seat at the table that speaks up and points out that this ad may come across as offensive. To think that a multi-million dollar brand sold in over 80 countries doesn’t have this person is unfathomable. Simply restructuring the order could have prevented 2 apologies and your brand trending for all the wrong reasons.

Did everyone jump the gun in trashing Dove? Yes, however this is the reality in today’s age. We react towards what is presented to us. There will be a large amount of people that don’t ever see the now released full ad in motion and they will continue on with their hatred for the Dove brand. Who’s to blame? Dove for releasing a tone deaf ad and us as consumers for not digging deeper. This is yet another example on the list for 2017’s racially incentive ads joining the likes of Pepsi, Nivea, and others. Looks like we’ll have to do an end of the year recap with the way things are trending.

I’d love to know your thoughts. Did consumers react too soon or was it justified?


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 (May 6 – May 12)

May 12, 2017

This was a crazy week. In the world of advertising & marketing, everything moves so quickly that it’s easy to miss some of the best the industry has to offer. Not to worry, as usual, The MAD Mix has you covered for some of the hottest ads, trends, and more in this week’s recap. Check it out below!


Movistar Love Story

K: We all know how big social media has become. All most everyone uses it, from teenagers to our parents or even grandparents.  We use it to stay connected to our family members that are in other countries, see what our favourite artists are doing, follow our favourite brands, stay updated on fashion trends and meet new people. Movistar, a telecommunications brand that operates in Spain and in many Hispanic American countries makes open our eyes again to something we sometimes may forget. The love story shown between two teenagers seem normal and harmless, but as the story goes on you start to think about how will it end. The reveal of the ending is done in a way that keeps you guessing until the last second. It’s a great way to shine light on a topic that really needs to be discussed, especially with teenagers that are starting to use social media.



M: Wow, this was pretty cool. WestJet known for taking experiential marketing to an entirely different level. Remember what they did for Fort MacMurray after the wildfire crisis last year? In their latest spot, they flew to Nevada to really put a new spin on what the Las Vegas experience is really like. Passengers on a plane to Vegas were treated to a fantastic light show on the ground depicting a roulette wheel as they flew in. The catch? It was a real roulette wheel. The wheel spun until it landed on one of the seat numbers “4a”. Whoever was sitting in that seat on the plane got treated to a $2,500 shopping spree during their stay in Vegas. This really impressed me. Quality experiential campaigns are difficult to pull off, but WestJet did it again. Check out the spot below:

The BigBallerBrand Continues to Make Headlines

B: Lavar Ball has become a media mainstay in the NBA world due to his outrages comments and polarizing personality. He has also brought a little bit of flair back to an NBA that seems to be getting repetitive. The NBA finals barring any setback is once again slated to be a rematch between the GoldenState Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Yes, upsets can happen but are they likely too? Not in this Super team era driven NBA. Lavar Ball is a terrific marketer, hands down no questions asked because according to the simple Google Definition a marketer is “a person or company that advertises or promotes something”. Lavar Ball has done a wonderful job promoting all three of his sons Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo but also the BigBallerBrand that just released a $495 pair of sneakers and people are talking about them. Whether you’re a fan of Lavar’s recent tactics or not, he is single handely the most talked about subject in the NBA, during the playoffs.


Dove Switches Up Their Packaging

D: To reaffirm their message of body diversity, Dove has brought life to the saying “beauty comes in all shapes and sizes” by offering limited-edition packaging. The new Dove bottles are supposed to mirror the various different body types. I’m still not exactly sure how I feel about this stunt as it’s cool and practice but a little weird when executed. Are people that interested in buying a bottle shaped like a person or is that simply an example of overthinking this campaign in its entirety? Regardless, doing this has created quite the buzz for the brand (both positive and negative) and the overall idea is an innovative way to extend their brand message. Was it a hit? You be the judge.


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