I challenge you to count how many times you've heard a brand apologise for an "insensitive ad that does't align with our core values" in the past year. To the point where it's now so disingenuous, yet at the same time forgotten so quickly due it's frequency.
From Nivea's disastrous "White is Purity" campaign, to H&M's "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle" hoodie—and who could forget the infamous Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad—companies are making some terrible calls when it comes to how they communicate their brand to consumers.
This week, during the second Hotwire Australia Diversity event, one discussion topic particularly resonated as we see the Burger King backlash flood Twitter.
As noted by Dr. Susan Entwisle, Asst. Vice President at Cognizant, having diversity of thought in a room is just as important as gender balance.
We need different ideas, new perspectives, and varying life experiences to achieve true diversity of thought and for it to be reflected in a company’s messaging.
It does beg the question: could these major faux pas have been prevented if the companies in question had more diversity of race, gender, sexuality and socioeconomic backgrounds in the rooms where these campaigns were signed off?
“We have asked our franchisee in New Zealand to remove the ad immediately,” said Burger King in a statement on Monday night. The food chain apologised, conceding the advert was “insensitive and does not reflect our brand values regarding diversity and inclusion.”