Duncan Hines figures out recipe for racist cupcakes

The problem with doing a Top 10 list of the year prior to the end of year is you run the risk of something else happening before you run out of calendar. Take this year, for example. No sooner had I posted the 10 Dumbest Marketing Moves then good friend Jim Forbes sends this to me:

Dark chocolate faces, big white eyes and huge pink lips, all happily singing. What could possibly be wrong about this? Please watch the whole thing to the end as the final image seems like something out of Spike Lee’s Bamboozled. The name of the ad, BTW, is Hip Hop Cupcakes. Which is just … well … icing on the cake of all this idiocy.

220px-Bamboozled-2000-posterimgIt’s impossible for me to think that Duncan Hines did this intentionally. I cannot believe a major corporation would choose to damage themselves in the marketplace to no advantage. That does NOT excuse this: Action matters more than intent. The only reasonable explanation is that they are morons. Going out on a limb here but I’d bet actual money that most of the marketers at the corporation and the agency are Caucasian. This disaster was so easily foreseeable and avoided it’s pathetic it happened in the first place.Yet another reason why diversity in the workplace is a bottom-line issue.

Online anger has forced the company to do the right thing and pull the ads. Yowsa.


Absolutely nothing goes together like Procter & Gamble and Hip Hop

Bounce® and Beyonce? Jay Z and Oral B®? 50 Cent and Febreze®? Snoop Dogg and Eukanuba®? Ghostface Killah and Ghost®? Lil Wayne & Pampers®? The synergies are … totally non-existent — but what else to make of the following:

Consumer products giant Procter & Gamble is getting into the hip-hop business by launching a record label with Island Def Jam Music Group.

Unfortunately the brand that has caused P&G to flirt with getting funky is not Mr. Clean or Swiffer or any of the other billion dollar babies. No, it’s Tag — a me-too brand whose raison d’etre is confusing consumers into not buying Unilever’s Axe. What is odd about this entire thing is it smacks of the sort of stunt marketing that’s the antithesis of Jim Stengel and company’s mantra of growth via solving consumers’ problems. Ah well, when you make as much money as they do you can afford to do some loopy things now and then.