It’s been about three weeks, give or take, since the latest Summer’s Eve effort was pulled from the airwaves and Stan Richards, founder and namesake of the Richards Group, which was behind the brand’s “Hail to the V” campaign, had this to say to Adweek: “After listening to thousands of women say they want straight-talk and lighthearted communication on a historically-uncomfortable topic, Summer’s Eve gave us license to be bold, irreverent and celebratory across a multitude of mediums and to different audiences. We are surprised that some have found the online videos racially stereotypical.”
Well, if one tipster’s scoop is accurate, Richards Group shouldn’t have been so surprised considering that the campaign seemed doomed well before launch. Read on:
“Internally the ad is not talked about. The client never liked the ad and was basically talked into buying the idea by two untouchable CD’s at the agency. The ad was tested in focus groups and did terrible, and the client was again, pressured to run with it. The client did, and to absolutely terrible results. Granted it’s a difficult product, but for obvious reasons there has been a huge backlash to the campaign labeling it from sexist to racist and everything in between. [Because] of stupid shit like this, clients get scared and never want to take risks. Because after trusting irresponsible creatives, they get burned.”
Will the lesson be learned? Hmm, considering Summer’s Eve’s track record, we’re highly skeptical.