Do you know who does bad advertising that leaves a horrible taste in your mouth? Here’s a hint:
This ad has been called many things, tone-deaf being one of them by Marketing Interactive. Inspired by the recent fiasco where a man called an interracial couple on the street ‘racists’ for dating outside their race, Circles.Life thought it might be a good idea to jump on this ‘trend’.
It’s not surprising, but still disappointing that this was their attempt at showing some form of ‘inclusivity’. Should the ethnicity of who did what really matter at Circles.Life? If so then we would kindly advise anyone thinking of applying for a job there to send their resumes elsewhere.
Circles.Life Singapore has since released a follow-up statement through an Instagram post:
“We listen to your feedback because we value you, our customers, the most.” But how about those working in your company who belong to minority groups? Aren’t they valued too? (By the way, the original post is still on their profile.)
Here are some of their other distasteful ads:
Reported by an ex-NMP, Eunice Olsen, when this ad was shared with her. This ad was described as being ‘misappropriating identity, sexist, derogatory, disrespectful, distasteful’, and a cheap publicity stunt.
And another one;
It doesn’t take anyone long to figure out what these ads are inspired by. Our sentiments were pretty much similar to what a netizen shared on Facebook. It’s definitely not a good look for a brand to blatantly advertise their products while making subtle jabs at poverty and world hunger campaigns which have been run by non-profit organisations. More examples of yet another tone-deaf attempt at advertising as reported by Mothership here.
There is so much power in advertising, be it traditional bus ads, print ads, or even new-age digital media on social media. And with great power comes great responsibility — something Circles.Life seems to be sorely lacking.
When interviewed by The Drum, the senior marketing manager at Circles.Life — Megan Yulga, commented that the digital telco’s branding and marketing approach has always been “fun, bold, and simple.”. But it’s not very simple after all when sensitive issues are regarded as ‘trends’ for the brand to leverage on. And it’s not helpful that the marketing team seems to be severely tone-deaf.