Have you seen Nivea’s new ad campaign, “Give A Damn” which features a black man tossing the head of his former self, which happens to be covered in an Afro and full beard? The text across the page reads, “Re-Civilize yourself.” Given the history of the savage African needing to be civilized by Europeans this probably wasn’t the best word choice for Nivea. The blogosphere and twitterverse went into an uproar and begged the question, “is this ad racist?”
Advertising Guru Steve Stoute quipped, “If we want to be really accurate in calling out the foul Nivea has committed, we should readjust and say they were being culturally insensitive.”
I would argue that Nivea is not only culturally insensitive but that they are flawed in attempting to reach their target demo for this particular ad, me. I’m a young black professional man, I like to keep my skin moisturized and I actually use Nivea products but there’s nothing about this ad that would attract me to this product.