Ya'll -Check out the commercial I made for a hypothetical product as a class project in undergrad circa 2005. The products name was UR Band-Aids, like your band-aids, but it also can be read as Urban - Daids. It was a silly play on the word Urban and Ur. The product is an idea I had about bandaids for other skin tones. Take a look at the video below. Forgive the granulation.
Look, Band-Aid is coming out with this product a decade later. Allow me to vent before I put a band-aid on the wound I am about to open up on your brand.
One Hundred Years?
One- Hundred- Yeeeeeeeeearssssssss!
It took you a century... To realize...
That your bandaid only blends well with one complexion?
The elephant in the room says, "What took so long?"
First I'm going to scold you like a concerned parent. Then I'm going to heal you like an empathetic parent.
You could not have picked a worse time to launch this product. It honestly looks like you are trying to profit on an extreme crisis going on in this country with the #BLM movement. Black brothers and sisters have been wounded in this country time and time again. You didn't hear their voices? You didn't witness your product on darker colored skins and see it sticking out like a sore thumb? Why now? So it can look like you finally care?
The injustice is that you didn't notice until now. In your latest instagram post you posted, "“We hear you. We see you. We’re listening to you.". You are missing the most important part - Understanding. Do you really understand? Do you understand what centuries of oppression feel like? How can you? Your product was part of the oppression. How did you decide on the colors? Randomized selection on a Pantone picker. I'm sorry for the transparency here. Let me help because maybe you had good intentions just bad timing.
The Band-Aid Healing Process
1. Honesty. Fix this by owning up to the bad timing. I'm certain you think your timing was a great time to release this product. You're wrong. It actually may be the worst time. Own up to the bad timing. Tell us why you understand your centuries of oppression has been realized. What's that story look like? Share it with us.
2. Help. Throwing money at the situation isn't helping; It's a tax write off for you. Actually roll your sleeves up and get involved. Walk with us. Shout with us. Stand with us. Kneel with us. Grieve with us. Set up medical stations at every #BLM with medical attention staff at every station for us. That is how you go beyond hearing, seeing, and listening to the pain coming from our brother's and sister's. In order to sympathize you have to first empathize. You are scheduled to make an unannounced donation to the #BLM movement. An unannounced donation? Are you embarrassed at the amount? Be very clear on how you intend to help with specificity. Compassion and active participation is what is going to help heal. So after you vocalize the story of your honesty and start helping. Then share the story of your helping.
3. Heal. Time heals, but the scar remains. This scar is going to be a lasting scar. You have to become part of the healing process in order for this release to succeed. Show people you care. Nurture the wound with help so we can heal.
Those are your steps moving forward. You are in a great position because your product is the best distributed brand in the most convenient locations. In addition, the name of your company owns the verb. "Put a bandaid on it", is what you would tell someone to put on a wound. That's a huge advantage being the name of your company.
You further exclaimed, "We promise that this is just the first among many steps together in the fight against systemic racism. We can, we must, and we will do better". Be very clear on how you intend to live up to this promise.
“We stand in solidarity with our Black colleagues, collaborators and community in the fight against racism, violence and injustice. We are committed to taking actions to create tangible change for the Black community.” Don't talk about it. Be about it!
"I am stuck on Band-Aids 'cause Band-Aid's stuck on me." This needs to evolve. Tru-Colour is an alternative. So is Ebon-Aide. Your move Johnson&Johnson, and make it your best move. The people will decide how to proceed.