Marketer's Brief: Woman in Dove Ad Doesn't See It as Racist

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Welcome to the latest edition of Marketer's Brief, a quick take on marketing news, moves and trends from Ad Age's reporters and editors. Send tips/suggestions to [email protected]

Do you remember fueling up at Amoco? The gas station brand is making a comeback after more than 10 years away. Find out about about that and more in this week's edition of Marketer's Brief. First, we begin with the Dove ad that has everyone talking.

Dove gains a defender
Lola Ogunyemi, the woman whose image is at the center of a social-media storm over a three-second Dove Facebook ad widely decried as racist, doesn't see herself as a victim or the ad as racist. In a post on, she provides a fuller accounting of the shoot for the longer ad, which showed as many as 11 women of different skin tones morphing into each other—as a way to show that Dove Body Wash works for everyone. But Ogunyemi also takes a shot at how Dove reacted to the criticism, saying: "While I agree with Dove's response to unequivocally apologise for any offense caused, they could have also defended their creative vision, and their choice to include me, an unequivocally dark-skinned black woman, as a face of their campaign. I am not just some silent victim of a mistaken beauty campaign. I am strong, I am beautiful, and I will not be erased."

Still no word from Unilever and Dove on exactly how it all came together, so stay tuned.

Walmart's digital bet gets much bigger
Walmart has more than 4,700 stores of various sorts around the U.S., but plans to build only 40 or fewer new ones—15 supercenters and 25 supermarkets—next year. Instead, it will plow even more money into digital to compete with Amazon, roughly doubling the number of stores with express pickup of online orders to 2,000, redesigning and offering volume discounts on the mother-ship site as well, executives said at the retailer's analyst day Oct. 10. Expect that to mean advertising that's already increasingly focused on e-commerce will become even more so. After growing e-commerce revenue more than 60 percent in the first half of this year, Walmart expects to boost it 40 percent next fiscal year. Walmart executives say the company is still losing money on e-commerce, but at a slower pace than before, albeit without citing numbers.

Credit: BP

Classic gas station brand reappears
The Amoco gas station brand is making a comeback after it disappeared more than a decade ago. BP, which bought Amoco in 1998 and later rebranded all its stations under the BP moniker, announced this week that it will let station operators use Amoco name again. Research revealed that the Amoco name still resonates, BP says. Also, the comeback will "help resolve local, competitive station conflicts in markets where there may already be one or more BP stations in close proximity," according to BP. Amoco-branded stations will offer the same consumer loyalty perks as BP stations.

Stay home and shop
Looks like leaning on digital ads might be the way to go this holiday as a new survey suggests most Americans will be shopping for gifts from the comfort of home. Only 30 percent of survey respondents said they will shop in stores this Thanksgiving, compared with 50 percent last year, according to data tracker Market Track. And just 40 percent plan to head to stores on Black Friday, down from 45 percent. "The decline in both store traffic and positive consumer sentiment towards Black Friday in-store events is well-documented. The reality is the battlefront has shifted to digital commerce, and that trend is only going to pick up steam," said Ryne Misso, Director of Marketing at Market Track, in a statement. "This holiday season, look for Black Friday to morph into Cyber Friday, where the top deals and unique shopping experiences will take place, perhaps first and foremost, online." Indeed, e-commerce has been gaining ground for some time: Last year some 108.5 million consumers bought electronically over Thanksgiving weekend, compared with just 99.1 million purchasing in stores.

Credit: Dick's Sporting Goods

If the skin fits
Like many retailers, Dick's Sporting Goods has been making a big push into introducing its own brands. Now it's starting to put marketing dollars behind them. The 700-unit chain, which is based in Pittsburgh, recently appointed VML as the agency of record for its Second Skin label, a compression and training athletic apparel brand sold only at Dick's. The retailer also works with Anomaly on its brand campaigns.

Credit: Pizza Hut

Playing dress-up
Pizza Hut is the latest restaurant chain to come up with unique clothing as a marketing device. It's giving away "Pizza Parkas" to tout the materials used in its new "oven hot" delivery pouches. Updating its delivery systems is one way Pizza Hut is trying to hold on to its top spot in the U.S. pizza industry and recover from a 5 percent U.S. sales decline in the first half of 2017. Some jacket details seem familiar, such as 3M Thinsulate insulation, which is often used in winter jackets. There are also Pizza Hut-focused features including a weather-resistant "outer crust" and a "marinara splash guard to protect your phone when ordering."

The Colonel Harland Sanders Halloween costume.
The Colonel Harland Sanders Halloween costume. Credit: KFC

The Pizza Parka comes the same week sibling chain's Taco Bell's clothing line with Forever 21 was released and as the other Yum Brands' sibling chain, KFC, hawks a Colonel Harland Sanders Halloween costume kit.

KFC's body slam
Speaking of Colonel Sanders, WWE fans can see even more of him as a playable character in "WWE 2K18," a video game being released Oct. 17. WWE star Kurt Angle announced the plan in a video during Sunday night's "Hell in a Cell" event, which also featured WWE star Heath Slater dressed as the Puppers Cluckers Chicken, a rival to Col. Sanders who appeared in a KFC/WWE promotion last year.

Credit: Arby's

Would You Buy This?
Deer for lunch? Arby's is bringing back its Venison sandwich (venison steak and crispy onions topped with a juniper berry sauce) on Oct. 21. Last year it was offered in five states and quickly sold out; now it's going to be sold in all U.S. restaurants. And this time there's also an elk one being offered in three restaurants, one each in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana.

Number of the Week
$1 milion: What Ellen Sarem of San Antonio won for submitting the Lay's Crispy Taco flavor idea this year for Lay's "Do Us a Flavor" contest. In consumer voting, crispy taco beat out Lay's Kettle Cooked Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese and Lay's Wavy Fried Green Tomato.

Tweet of Week

Marriott International has named Andy Kauffman to the newly created position of senior VP for global marketing optimization, effective Jan. 1, 2018. Kauffman, who had been digital marketing leader for the hotel chain and was responsible for helping Marriott adopt Facebook's dynamic ads for travel, will work to expand the digital capabilities of the brand on a global scale, adding more personalization and social marketing for Marriott brands and its loyalty programs.

The Association of National Advertisers, which has gotten increasingly aggressive taking on everything from agency media practices to in-house ad production at creative shops, has some new board members that will help call the shots.

The newly elected board members are: Frances Allen, president of Jack in the Box; Douwe Bergsma, chief marketing officer at Georgia-Pacific Consumer Business; Lynne Biggar, executive VP and chief marketing and communications officer at Visa; Amanda Brinkman, VP and chief brand and communications officer at Deluxe Corporation; Fiona Carter, chief brand officer at AT&T; Alicia Enciso, CMO for Nestlé USA; J. Russell Findlay, CMO at Hiscox; Morgan Flatley, U.S. CMO at McDonald's; Andrew Frick, director of U.S. marketing for Ford Motor; Brian Owens, executive VP and CMO at Red Bull North America; Eric Reynolds, senior VP and CMO at Clorox Co.; and Heather Stewart, general director of global marketing services at General Motors Co.

Contributing: E.J. Schultz, Jack Neff, Adrianne Pasquarelli, Jessica Wohl

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