Tag: Marketing Campaigns

To Trap or not to Trap? The House of Hustle

When will brands learn to appreciate culture properly?

Puma & JD have recently partnered up for an event where the theme was “Trap”. For those who may not be familiar with the meaning of “trap”, it means working and it can be applied in any manor.

Nothing wrong with the term but its the theme which they based the trap, a f**king crack house. I mean I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, I already have an idea in my head on the type of character who approved this event. A middle-class privileged, thinking Shoreditch is edgy but now too mainstream, so I pop over to Dalston as its more up and coming prat. There’s a term for people like this, culture vultures. Only want the best part of cultures and don’t like to focus on the rest.

Brands need to understand that in order to talk about certain topics you need to speak to people who REALLY come from that background and can give you first hand insights, if there was any level headed person that was consulted on this project, they would tell you not to do an event around a crack house.

You can’t place branded content on topics such as this because it comes with baggage, in this instance violence, addiction and homelessness to name a few. An event such as this should not be one for those who have never been in a real crack house to now feel safe and start glamorising it at a brand event across their social media.

With all this being said, it goes back to my previousĀ blog, lack of knowledge for different diversities. The solution, hire and consult with people from backgrounds you want to talk about.

Here’s the selling part, if you are a brand and you’re having troubles connecting with different cultures, let’s have a chatĀ ;

Who f**king checks it before it goes out?

That’s the first thing I was asking when I saw the Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi ad and it’s the same thing I’m asking my self now seeing H&M’s image of the little black boy in the “Coolest Monkey In The Jungle” hoody. But to be honest I already know the answer.

With H&M’s hoody of the “Coolest Monkey In The Jungle”, they were never going to win. If a little white kid wore it for the product shot, it’d pass until a black kid wears it and the parents take a picture and call out H&M on social media. H&M was never really going to win this.

What’s going wrong?

There’s a real disconnect when corporate brands try and infuse themselves in different cultures, they need to know when they’re doing it correctly and when they’re just being offensive. We’re now seeing the crack in the pavements. The reason for this? Lack of diversity of people from different backgrounds working on these projects.

Can this be solved?

The issue won’t be solved by just hiring people from different backgrounds to reach a set criteria, it’s about using people from different backgrounds and their knowledge to create work which has a connection with the consumer from the culture which you are trying to speak to. First-hand experience and knowledge is and always will be better than some report conducted by someone, not from the end consumer. Of course, not everyone might have the luxury of using people from different backgrounds to ask these questions but finding them for research purposes is more than available.

I don’t care what anyone says to be honest if you want to sell, SELL. However when you want to start using social issues, you will be treading on thin ice, because if you do not get it correct, it will be very difficult to recover from the disaster, you only get one shot at this. Consumers, they’re not stupid and they will call your brand out. FACT.