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Tuesday, Sep. 4, 2007 at 8:48 am

P&G Says “My Black is Beautiful”

By Holly Buchanan
September 4th, 2007

Dove’s Campaign For Real Beauty (discussed here) sparked a huge response among women tired of the unrealistic images of beauty they’re surrounded with, day in and day out. Now Proctor & Gamble is trying to tap into a similar vein with “My Black is Beautiful“; a campaign reaching out to African American women.Here’s how the website describes the campaign:

Our extraordinary new initiative, My Black is Beautiful celebrates the diverse collective beauty of African American women and encourages black women to define and promote their own beauty standard – one that is an authentic reflection of their indomitable spirit.

Recognizing that beauty and self-confidence are intrinsically linked, My Black is Beautiful is designed to ignite and support a sustained national conversation by, for and about black women; the way they are reflected in popular culture and serve as the catalyst for a movement that affects positive change.

It will be interesting to see how women feel about the campaign. As usual, I stopped by the website to see how they did.

I have a few suggestions for P&G on how to improve their site.

my_black_is_beautiful.jpg- If you type in “my black is beautiful,” Google returns an organic result saying the site is “coming soon”. Looks to me like it’s up and running. Some women may think “Oh, it’s not up yet” and leave without clicking through to the site.

- Keep in mind that many women (and men) access the Internet at work. If she clicks through to the site, the video launches automatically. If she isn’t quick enough or doesn’t know how to stop it, her computer will announce to the whole office that she is surfing a website instead of working. Consider having a big “play” button, a la YouTube, so she has control over when she starts the video.

- Walk the walk. Why has P&G created this campaign? What was the story behind the idea? What efforts have they made to understand, support, and create quality products for black women? I appreciate that they’re putting the campaign front and center, but women want to know that this goes to a deeper value of the company, not just a PR campaign. They do have such products like Cover Girls’ Queen collection in conjunction with Queen Latifah. This product is mentioned on the site, but you have to dig into the Press Room section to find information on it. The campaign has an great story behind it, but I should be able to read about it on their site — not just in AdvertisingAge.

P&G research found that 71% of black women feel they’re portrayed worse than other women in media and advertising. Despite that, they spend on average three times more than the general market on beauty products. The company’s idea is, in part, to give black women the attention warranted by that spending, building “My Black Is Beautiful” over many years to a program “that will stand the test of time,” [said Najoh Tita Reid, multicultural marketing director for Proctor & Gamble].

It’s an interesting campaign and I think they’re doing a lot of things right. What do think? I’d especially like to hear from African American women, since you’re the target audience.

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Comments (6)

  1. I’m leaning towards “Walk the walk. Why has P&G created this campaign?” – it’s not enough to put together sexy ad campaigns. How were these products developed and what makes them specifically fit in this campaign. Integrate the entire thing at some point in to P&G’s company profile. I am a woman of color. Cheers!

  2. I know that my black is beatiful and I teach this to my daughter everyday but the media doesn’t help with not showing the different skin tones of black women as a whole. When I’m watching television from commerials to sitcoms theres always black men with a light skinned black woman. I’ve recently seen just two commerials with dark skinned black women (Sunny Delight and I think it was Tide) in a family structure. Right now I’m listening to Tita Reed on 102.5fm Grown Folks Station with Warren Ballentine Free Your Mind Friday 10/05/07 and the information she’s providing is very motivating for sisters thats out here trying to make a difference! Thank You

  3. if it were a sincere campaign, it would be a step in thr right direction, but the bottomline in this campaign is about money. (as everything else is)

  4. Re:tasia

    Of course it’s about money, but that doesn’t make it a bad thing. Dove’s Real Beauty campaign seems very sincere, but it’s parent company is still guilty of promoting the usual standards of beauty in other product campaigns. Being less than a month old from launch, I’d like to see how the My Black is Beautiful campaign organically grows with more support and community involvement before I make a judgement on it- even with commericial roots it could stand to make a change.

  5. I am a black women with knotty knotty “dread” locked or wholly hair. You never ever see hair like mine in the media. Its really a shame how black women keep falling victim to insecurity because of lack of knowledge that would allow them/us to see and appreciate ourselves for whom god intended us to be. Proctor and Gamble is making a commendable effort, however there is so much work that has to be done in the homes of diasporic people and so much more brainunwashing on large scales to fully bring to light the perfect enormity of the beauty of black men and women.

  6. Hello My name is Jennifer Brown I live in Buffalo, New York. I have been using Dove Beauty bar for over 25 years I believe in this product. People guess my age to be 15 years younger than I am. I know it is because I believe in the beauty secret. I will love to do some work for you showing the world they to can become a believer. Let meet. My cell number is (716) 308-5522. Thank you for sharing your secret we me it works.

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Holly Buchanan is a marketing to women consultant specializing in marketing to women online. You can read her blog at http://marketingtowomenonline.typepad.com She is the co-author, along with Michele Miller of The Soccer Mom Myth - Today's Female Consumer - Who She Really Is, Why She Really Buys.

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