Is Their New Cupcake Campaign Racist?
Oh boy – where do we begin with this one… it’s another Good Enough Mother head-scratcher!
So Duncan Hines, a name synonymous with homemade yummies, is launching a new product called Amazing Glazes. It’s perfect for Good Enough Mother because it makes frosting cupcakes a snap, (if I were ever inclined to make my own cupcakes and then frost them, which I rarely am of course!) But oh boy, whoever created the new ad campaign for the line must have been suffering one heck of a sugar rush… how else to explain this…
The Huffington Post asks, “Is This Ad Racist?” I’m not so sure I’d go THAT far yet – but what do you think?
Okay yes, they’re cupcakes but is it just my imagination or do they look an awful lot like, well…
When I saw the ad, this first thing I thought was there could not POSSIBLY be a person of color in a decision-making capacity, working on this campaign. Because if there had been, I think they would have said something to the effect of “ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MINDS?” (if they felt comfortable enough and were not fearful of losing their job). That screech would have alerted the folks in the Duncan Hines boardroom that perhaps, even if they didn’t see it, this could be reminiscent of an ugly time in our country’s history.
Even if Duncan Hines didn’t mean to look insensitive they do now for two reasons; because of the ad and the fact that the ad got made. If you know anything about advertising you know that this campaign had to go through several channels and be signed off at a multitude of levels. So you’re telling me that in all of those meetings, not one person raised their hand and suggested the advert might be inappropriate? And Hines can’t say it was merely an oversight because again, that illustrates my point. If it truly was “an accidental oversight” that’s because there was no one in the chain attuned to the subtleties of racial insensitivity. Sweet mercy..
The situation again demonstrates exactly why diversity is so critical in businesses. Advertising images shape the way we see our world. And I’m not just talking about racial diversity; different cultures, religions and sexual orientations need to be included and represented at the table. When we teach from those inclusive places the result is tolerance, something in short, SHORT supply in this fragmented world. If Duncan Hines and any other corporation doesn’t see the value of inclusion then, regardless of their years in business and their product pedigree, they won’t last long in this new world.
For a second the thought did cross my mind that Hines may have courted controversy on purpose. Perhaps they were keenly aware of the power of viral videos and know that had they gone the regular route, Amazing Glazes would just be one more product taking up a few feet of grocery store shelf. Instead, there have been several blogs and websites, including my own, who have dedicated time and space to the product. Could it be?
Hell no… this was just a bonehead move plain and simple.
The advert has now been pulled but the damage still remains. Another big company out of tune with the real world…
But what do you think? Do you think the ad is insensitive – or racist? Start commenting everyone…