African culture faces off with political correctness in these set of ads created by SO&U a Lagos Ad company to mark Mother’s Day 2018.
If you grew up Nigerian in Nigeria and experienced the dual purposes of the ‘The Dunlop slippers’,‘The broom’ or ‘The Spatula’ as both regular household items and tools for discipline and behaviour adjustment (depending on the civility of your parents or the degree of offense), then this ad may bring a nostalgic smile to your face…
…And if you didn’t experience this but got sent to the ‘naughty corner’ or got ‘grounded’ or ‘sent to your room’ like some did, this set of ads may not sit very well with you and you’d probably think old and young Nigerians have been victims of physical and mental abuse for generations.
And you may be right. Or wrong.
These contrasting reactions are exactly what the ads got when it was shared on social media on Sunday. The ads, designed as manuals with directions showing in fine detail how to use various ‘household items’ as ‘tools of discipline’ quickly went viral.
Majority connected with it with nostalgia and even went as far as adding to the list of ‘Weapons of Mass Correction’.
Others however were quick to spot that the ad promoted ‘domestic violence’ especially against children.
Chris Ogunlowo, creative director SO&U, responded when asked if this was the response his team were hoping for with the ad:
I suspected it would. But I didn’t guess the extent. I was only convinced that it would resonate because we humorously whipped up nostalgic emotions since many grownups in African communities look back fondly on these corrective tools. I believe people like humour and nostalgia.
So why go this controversial route where other brands took the ‘safer’, more political correct path:
Errrm, well, it was not a conscious decision to pick a route over the other. The idea came in its purist form and we got to work, without distracting filters. And as you can tell from the conversations, only a few found it controversial or triggering. While we recognize and respect their position, we believe the folks who could relate with the funny angle made it all the more fun. Personally, when it comes to communication, I don’t like boring or “safe” route.