Nivea has apologized for the controversial ad that was featured in the September issue of Esquire magazine. The advert featured a Black man holding what appeared to be a head/mask of a Black man with an Afro. The tag line read: ”Look Like You Give a Damn. Re-civilize Yourself.
In light of the fact that it seems grossly obvious that Abercrombie & Fitch asked Jersey Shore not to wear their clothes for the sake of generating publicity,we have to wonder if this was all a publicity stunt. Considering that Nivea is a brand that has long been popular among African-American consumers, this edgy approach to marketing certainly backfired. What’s interesting about this campaign is that an African-American may be behind it. Clutch reported that the man behind the “Look Like You Give A Damn” campaign is a black man who was brought in to reach out to African-American consumers according to an anonymous source.
The campaign does also involve white models. In an ad featuring a white model, the tag line reads “sin city isn’t an excuse to look like hell,” as opposed to “re-civilize yourself.”
The offensiveness factor in this ad is blatant – to the point that it makes you wonder if it did what it was expected to do. Otherwise, why do we keep seeing these racist mistakes made over and over again?