Saturday, January 28, 2006

Cultural sensitivities are amiss

Herbal Essences commercial on TV is rather disturbing. There aren't many creative ways to advertise for a shampoo if you don't show the hair. However, it is ridiculous how the ad shows the woman wearing a Hijab that she later takes off, 'liberating herself'.

Personally, I identify with the concept -- but one has to understand the kind of cultural sensitivity we have in the region. Taking off the Hijab is not exactly considered a liberating act.

Let us try and not mention the name of the advertising agency responsible for this, but rest assured it will be mentioned should they screw up again.


Anonymous Farrukh: copywriter & journalist said...

Creative ways to advertise hair products without showing hair?

Lots, actually.

Think Kaminomoto campaigns.

January 30, 2006 5:48 PM  
Blogger Dubai Media Observer said...

Maybe. I don't come from a creative background. However, my point is, the ad is done by someone who doesn't understand the culture.

January 31, 2006 12:31 PM  
Anonymous farrukh: copywriter & journalist said...

True. It's like an artist friend of mine showing the Ramadan crescent on a shoe. Sad but true.

January 31, 2006 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sad truth is, that is the case with many advertising campaigns we see in the region because they are cooked in Dubai, and in Dubai the industry consists of expats from all around the world, and the very liberal Lebanese who think their culture is supreme and is/should be the standard.

Not trying to insult anyone, but identifying the problem brings us 50% closer to solving it.

February 05, 2006 8:36 PM  
Blogger moryarti said...

As a matter of fact, it is done by someone who completely understands the culture, as well as the regulation.

The ad is clearly targeted to the Saudi market -which allows images of women hair only if the woman's face is not showing, hence the rather-odd-only-hair-no-face-showing-scenes in a desperate attempt to appeal to the saudi consumer

February 06, 2006 12:09 AM  
Blogger Dubai Media Observer said...


The face with the hair is shown during the commercial -- so I'm not sure that applies here. Also, satellite channels are obviously not bound by Saudi rules and regulations.

March 07, 2006 12:31 AM  
Blogger moryarti said...

Its about making the promoted brand/product relate and appeal to the Saudi consumer who happens to have the highest disposable income in the region, hence the most important consumer market here.

Watch any Lebanese channel. When it comes to ads, the Arabic VO is in an arab saudi dialect. The male characters wear Saudi thoub (dishash) and the Hijab (for female char) is distinctively Saudi.

Sorry mate, you have to be Arab to notice these things..


March 07, 2006 8:12 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home