Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fewer words than usual wednesday

So, it's actually Tuesday, but I am hoping that I can get this blog post done tonight, and then come Wednesday, just press 'post' and be on my way. I've got a good feeling about it.

The picture below is the cover of a mailer that I got from Sephora this week.

When I saw this photo, My first thought was. "Whoa, they're putting black chicks on the cover of their mailers!" Then I thought, "Nah, that isn't it--this is 'specially for me. How did they know I was black? Oh, yeah it's because I order a lot of black hair care products from their site.

Not only is this lady black, but she's dark skinned and her hair near her face is nappy. Well played, Sephora; well played.

[Note to my white readers: I can say "nappy" because I'm black. Theoretically, you can say "nappy" as well, since it's a free country and all. I would just suggest that you know your audience and proceed with caution. Ok, moving on...]

This was the picture on the inside:


Sephora was offering me a $15 gift card. But if you look more closely, you see it is really just $15 off of a $50 purchase. And if you want to buy online, it is $15 off of a $65 purchase, since you have to spend $50 before you get free shipping. And of course, the products that I usually buy (for black people,) are not available at my local brick and mortar store. So I decided to pass on this deal, though I do appreciate the effort of putting a pretty black woman on my direct mailer.

This whole black lady on the outside/white lady on the inside got me thinking about a comment that a reader left on one of my posts a looong time ago. I've actually already wrote about this comment before, but I am writing about it again, because clearly it stuck with me. Dana said that she probably wouldn't buy a game that exclusively featured black children on the front of the box. It is this thinking (in part,) that makes me think that they only send this version of the mailer to customers they are pretty sure are African-American.

So, white readers...if you got a mailer just like the one I did, do you think the black lady on the front would make you less likely to buy something from Sephora, more likely to buy something from Sephora, or have no effect?

Did anyone else out on the interwebs get this promotional offer from Sephora? If so, how did the placement of the models differ (if at all,) from mine?

Do any marketing people read this blog? I would imagine marketers have done studies on this stuff: Are white consumers less likely to buy products that use black models/actors to sell them? Are black consumers more likely to buy said products? Why?

This is already pushing the limits of "fewer words that usual," so I am going to wrap it up. As always, I am open to hearing any and all comments you might have on this topic.

And if you haven't already, I would encourage you to check out my last blog post. I got some thought-provoking comments on that one; you should read it so you're not all lost on my next follow-up friday post.

Thank you and good night!


  1. Sephora knows that I am poor so they didn't send me anything at all. The person on the front is pretty so I'd still shop there (if I had the $$)

    I wonder what it says about me when I mention that my definition of 'nappy' is when the kids go to sleep for an afternoon snooze. It's nappy time!!!

  2. This should not suprise you. I am not shocked. The culture is about divide and control. This is what you get when you have identity politics and identity marketing it is about segmenting sections of the population making general assumtions and then the feeding of long rooted stereotypes to promote a brand or issue. Did you get your Aunt Jamama syrup, Uncle Bens rice, Fubu shoes, Churches Chicken only in neiborhoods of color coupons. The list goes on and on. Identity marketing is profitable and it WORKS. Identity politics also works and it is no different. Both want to control and condition your thinking and behavior to push a certain product or ideology. Just a thought? What political party would a black, gay, NRA member, Jewish, male,former West Point military officer, son of civil rights activist parents, works on Wallstreet and dates young white men, drives a Hummer and plays polo on the weekend and has a PHD in economics and lives in Compton vote? If you try to answer this question on how you would try to get his vote or buy your product, You are part of the problem. This way of thinking is a cancer..

  3. Can Asian people say "nappy"? I feel like we're more in than white people are. LOL.

  4. Anonymous6:29 AM

    I would gladly use that $15 card if you dont want it. there still accepting expired ones. need a gift for my lady. Email me please the Code and pin!!!!

  5. I just wanted to say thanks for the comments on my blog!

    And as for this post, I would imagine they just sent out one mailer?! That would take a lot of time to identify and then to print out separate mailers. And it is way more cost effective to only print one mailer, as prices go down the more you print. I only get their emails, or else I would love to tell you what my mailer looked like.

    And I actually really love that photo and I don't think it would really have any affect on whether or not I shopped there. Interesting to think about...I hope someone else gets it and can confirm what it looks like!

  6. Anonymous3:06 PM

    To be honest, I didn't think anything of it. To me it was just two models.

  7. All I can think when I see that picture is that woman has on a crap ton of blush.

    Also, knowing your audience is sound advice that I wish more people would take heed to.