Note from BW of Brazil: It’s really curious to see how Afro-Brazilians are presented in advertisements and commercials. When black people are presented at all, they are often presented in background settings, surrounded by white people or presented in ads that focus on social programs for the underprivileged. This has been the standard for years. It is for this reason that when black Brazilians ARE presented in ads, it often becomes the topics of discussion in social networks or blogs.
This is the case with recent Nestlé ads being broadcast on the countries top television networks. The ads feature a cute, little black girl, which is significant as black children are also either excluded or vastly under-represented in commercials, ads or magazine covers. As this under-representation is blatantly obvious, one can understand the reason for celebration when a black child is featured in one of these media vehicles. After the viewing the commercials, it’s true that Nestlé should be commended for even attempting to diversify its Brazilian advertising, even these latest ads are not without their problems. First, let’s take a look at some photos, the commercials themselves and a quick review of the little cutie’s appearance in the clips.
The child actress Arícia Domênica stars in new Nestlé campaign
Courtesy of TNM
Nestlé, the Swiss company and world leader in food production, has been present in Brazil since 1921 and owns brands such as Ninho, Farinha Láctea Nestlé and Leite Moça, among many others.
Farinha Láctea Nestlé #MeuFilhoMeuBrilho – Arícia and Aretha’s story
But the news here is that Nestlé represented using the beautiful child actress, Arícia Domênica, in their commercials. As if it’s not enough that the little one participates in Leite Ninho commercial, which uses children from various ethnic groups, now Arícia and her mother and grandmother are in one of the videos of the series “Meu Filho, Meu Brilho” (My Son, My Glow), the company’s new campaign to promote Farinha Láctea.
In the film of Arícia, her mother says, with great pride the reasons why the little one is her “Brilho” (shine). Of course, to us Arícia already shines, imagine for her mother, who is dying of pride. The coolest thing is that the little one is already full of attitude and empowerment.
Arícia has participated in other advertising campaigns and has her own channel on YouTube, where she’s already put her first video, teaching how to wrap a turban. See videos of Arícia below.
Is she or is she not cute?
Take the opportunity to like her Facebook page and subscribe to her channel on YouTube. Thus, we will be motivating Arícia to make many more videos for us.
Black mommies and daddies in Brazil, on the next trip to the market, buy Farinha Láctea Nestlé for your shorties. Even being silly, I’ll fill my face with Farinha Láctea after all this cuteness of Arícia and this representation.
Nestlé, at least this time represented. I still cheer to see a black family making a Molico milk commercial which until now I haven’t seen. Let’s see if they change this picture, Nestlé products in commercial aren’t lacking. Even more fitting is that it’s worth putting on more. Remembering Nestlé, we are more than half the population of this country. If you place in this proportion it will already be a good size.
Many may feel that we are exaggerating lifting the ball of the company that used a black child in a commercial. It seems unimportant. But the fact is that many commercials use children. Two, three, or more. Entire families or large groups of people, where none is black. This practice is very common in Brazil, which does not happen in other world countries out there.
The other day, talking to a friend who works in an advertising agency, he informed me that some customers ask yes, shamelessly, that there are no blacks in his campaigns. Others are embarrassed to say, but when you have blacks, they say cut the guy out because he didn’t like his hair, etc (1).
Some have claimed that having blacks in campaigns devalues the product.
Anyway, there is no exaggeration. We must make it normal, become routine.
If you see myself, I buy, that simple.
Congratulations Arícia! Success girl!
See Arícia’s Facebook page by clicking HERE!
Sign up for the little one’s channel on YouTube by clicking HERE!
Check out Arícia’s channel
And Arícia has already become the darling of Nestlé, watch the Ninho commercial she participated in.
Nestlé Farinha Láctea
Arícia Domênica in Making Of Ninho commercial
Arícia teaching how to wrap a turban
Note from BW of Brazil: So, what came to your mind as you watched the clips above? Here’s how I saw it. In terms of on air time, the 29 second Nestlé Farinha ad actually gave Arícia more feature time during the commercial. Of the 29 seconds of the clip, her on camera time registered at about 9.5 seconds which includes the end of the clip in which the image of Arícia and her mother Aretha were blurred out as the text of commercial came to the foreground. The couple weren’t as fortunate in the full version of the Ninho drink.
In the 2 minute and 20 second (140 seconds) commercial, Arícia, her mother and another black child appeared for a total of 19 seconds, with 6 of those seconds at the end of the clip in which the image of Arícia and her mother were blurred as the brand’s text, logo and other ads came to the forefront. The commercial that most stands out is the clip entitled “Farinha Láctea Nestlé MeuFilhoMeuBrilho – Conheça a história da Arícia e Aretha”, which is the first clip featured on this page. In the 1 minute 41 second clip, we see Arícia and Aretha in a typical day. We see Arícia at home with her mother and family. We see her in ballet class, in one her You Tube videos and eating farinha in a clip that is mostly narrated by her mother Aretha.
This clip is most likely only an extra recorded by Nestlé for the company’s website as I’ve nver seen this story on televison (but then I don’t watch a lot of TV anyway). I like this clip! This is really what we who pay attention to the media in terms of representation want to see: black people seen in their regular lives as regular people and not associated with some stereotypical image. See Arícia taking ballet classes itself is worth recognizing as we know that racist views often dissuade black girls from participating in the classical dance genre (see here, here and here). The question I asked myself as the clip proceeded was, where was the black father? Did the video producers choose to tell story featuring only the women of the family? Is the father absent because the child’s parents are actually separated in real life or he’s not a part of the child’s life? If that’s the case, it’s simply a circumstance that couldn’t be avoided, which is also a reality within many black families (2). Even so, we cannot ignore the fact that Brazil’s media has a history of not presenting Afro-Brazilians in family settings. We see it in the novelas (soap operas) and commercials in which black men and/or black women are often presented in interracial pairings. Remember the ad that featured a variety of couples with a black woman kissing a mannequin?
All in all I’ll say that it’s great to see little Arícia given the opportunity to shine in a TV commercial of a major name brand product, but Brazil’s media will have to go much further (and consistently) in their willingness to present a more balanced representation of the country’s population (3) before any celebrating should be going on.
Source: Todos Negros do Mundo
- This point re-affirms the same findings that I pointed out in a post about advertising, advertising agencies and racial representation back in November of 2014. See note 2 in the article “If I don’t see myself, I don’t buy it” – It may be ‘Black Friday’ in Brazil, but store ads remain overwhelmingly white as usual.
- This condition of the black family crosses over into the study of the phenomenon known as the ‘solitude of the black woman’ which often affects generations of black women. See here, here and here.
- And let’s not forget that much of this resistance to featuring Afro-Brazilians is based on the bias of the society itself. For example, see here.