Advertising, by definition, targets people requiring a product. Justifiably, black South Africans are sensitive resulting from a long history of being slandered and sidelined. Recently, Clicks Pharmacy ran an advert that many perceived as thoughtless around black stereotyping. However, the interpretation of the advert by South Africans also extends the insult to white people with problem hair.
Clicks advert targeted problem hair
Undeniably, Clicks failed to think the models through. Certainly, white women have dry and damaged hair, it’s not confined to black women. Likewise, white women have ‘flat’ hair and the worst kind of hair is ‘fine’. ‘Fine hair” means it is thin, often oily, and almost impossible to manage. Additionally, who has normal hair? Moreover, women with ‘normal’ hair are the fortunate few.
Importantly, advertising is pointless if it fails to reach a target market. All women, of every colour and creed, have problem hair, ask any of them. Therefore, SA ads could do with a re-set.
SA advertising generally needs a rethink
Importantly, South African advertising generally needs to hit the ‘restart’ button. Annoyingly, stereotypical ads continue to run across screens. Furthermore, many women wait in vain for an ad depicting household appliances and washing powder to feature men. Undeniably, every South African woman would find themselves attracted to an appliance that would encourage a man to use it.
Likewise, traditional ‘toys for boys’ adverts need to adjust. Surprise! Ladies also like fast cars, powerful motorbikes, and technology. Notably, advertisers need to update, rethink, and adjust to 2020.
#Clickschallenge. There is nothing wrong when a black woman put weaves, bonding or Plat their hair. We have lots of options. We can cut, make perm, tint or relax it. Is nobody's business with what you do to your hair and nobody must comment on any body's hair. Respect our choices pic.twitter.com/RtDo3XS1IA
— Patricia (@dikgoba) September 9, 2020
SA Twitterati have their say
Interestingly, the advert appears to resurrect the push for black women to avoid weaves and wigs. Surely, adult women should make this decision for themselves?
I didn’t decide to go “natural”, I just decided to embrace my hair in it’s natural state.
— Urban Mosotho (@UrbanMosotho) September 9, 2020
— Hlabirwa Maepa (@Hlabirw93230020) September 9, 2020
Truthfully, SA women, black, honey-coloured or white, want to see an ad for men waxing lyrical about washing powder.