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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.

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (August 20 – August 26)

August 26, 2016

With how fast the marketing & advertising world operates, its always good to keep up with the latest trends, ads, and innovations-which is what we’re here to do. Check out our weekly recap below.

Written by Malick and Dakarai

 

Sears Canada Gets a Makeover

D: Sears, the once dominant retailer in Canada…now not so much, is currently going through a rebranding process. The company has recently revealed their new corporate logo, which is the first significant change to the previous logo in 32 years. The Vice President of Corporate Communications, Vince Power, stated that the logo is “intended to be clean, approachable and, most importantly, timeless”. Sears is clearly looking to reach a younger and more modern age demographic. However, with doing this, it is important that they do not turn the cold-shoulder to their older and loyal customers.

Sears Logo

Domino’s Pizza Drone Delivery

M: Domino’s Pizza is changing the pizza delivery service game in innovative fashion. Just this week, Domino’s began testing delivering pizza through their new drone delivery system in New Zealand. The video below shows a successful attempt at one of the first airborne pizza deliveries ever. Personally I think the entire concept of this could effectively change how we consume, and what we consume. Outside of pizza, I can see drone deliveries being an innovative force in how delivery companies get their product from point A to point B. Domino’s just seems to be one step ahead of the game. While the drone delivery system has been successful in tests, we still have a ways before we see pizza’s hitting the sky. Unfortunately, the drone delivery system is only being tested in Australia, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Japan and Germany, but I don’t deny that North America would fall far behind in terms of timing.

New Sponsor Forgives Ryan Lochte

D: After everything that has happened with Ryan Lochte, perfectly summed up in Tuesday’s article, I might add, there may be a glimpse of hope in his future. Pine Bros, a brand of cough drops has recently inked a sponsorship deal with the Olympic swimmer. Details have yet to be released. However, their slogan “Pine Brothers Softish Throat Drops: Forgiving On Your Throat”, is sure to open the floor for some creative opportunities to not only put this brand that you’ve probably never heard of in your head, but also to be used as platform for a possible apology from Ryan himself.

Facebook Live Stream

fb live

M: Since Wednesday, Facebook users will now notice a “Go Live” button that allows them to live stream videos from their mobile devices. Live streaming is becoming more and more accessible by combining with people’s regular social media habits. I’ve always been on the fence about live streaming – what purpose does it serve other than letting people know what you’re up to on a second by second basis? I feel as though live streaming on FB could be a great opportunity for brands and celebrities (or both) to get a new level of engagement or connection with their target audiences. I feel as though brands and celebrities are just getting used to how Snapchat works, so it will be interesting to see how live streaming (which I see to be Snapchat on crack) is adapted into social marketing strategies in coming years.

Fb live 2

Charity Brands Partner Together To Create A Messenger Bot

D: We recently released an article about the walk-with-yeshi-hed-2016use of Messenger Bots, and discussed a bit about brands using it well, and its future in terms of advertising and marketing implications. As predicted, we will continuously see brands using these bots in innovative ways. A jewelry brand (Lokai) and non-profit charity (Charity: Water) have paired together to provide you with a view into the world of a young girl in Ethiopia, and the daily struggles in which she faces, which includes finding clean drinking water. Try it out yourself by simply sending “hello” to the “Live Lokai” Facebook account.

 

That’s our weekly recap to keep you up to date on the best ads that we could find over the week. Think we missed one? Let us know! Be sure to follow us on Facebook here