I found this controversial advert and could not believe it was actually published. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that someone actually thought this was a good idea. My initial reaction to this ad is based on my previous knowledge of modern history. Here is the poster broken down:
I can see a washing basket with laundry inside, the predominant colour used in this advertisement in white; the background is white, the basket is white and the figures clothes are white. A person dressed in robes and hat holding the basket is in the centre of the image and first draws your attention. The next thing that the focus goes to are the words “Dash, whitepower!” in blue text. This slogan is situated in between a pile of folded white towels and a washing powder box, which is presumably the product.
It is clear to see that the advert is about washing powder. The main message that is trying to be conveyed is how the powder will produce clean and radiant whites in your laundry. However, based on the viewer’s own knowledge, the figure in the advert is very offensive. They are dressed to resemble a member of the Klu Klux Klan (KKK), therefore, the advertisement is resembling the mistreatment and brutal actions towards those that were not white to the same way this washing powder will annihilate dark colours and stains from your white linen and other types of laundry. “Whitepower” makes for a second direct link to the KKK.
This adverts works off the basis that the viewer has an understanding of history in order to understand the premise and gravity of the pitch. It is easy to understand that the marketing campaign is about washing powder and the slogan is short and memorable. Personally, I think this advert is very offensive though still believe it is impactful; it has impacted me in a negative way as I would never buy Dash and approach all future advertisements and marketing campaign with distain.
Published 2007, https://www.adsoftheworld.com/forum/exhibition/dash_white