Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben are being retired; grabbing a C0ffe3 for diversity

Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s will receive brand updates

The Quaker Oats Company is removing the image of Aunt Jemima and changing the name of its syrup and pancake brand, saying that the origins of the more than century-old brand are based on racial stereotypes.

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“While work has been done over the years to update the brand in a manner intended to be appropriate and respectful, we realize those changes are not enough,” said Quaker Foods North America vice-president and CMO Kristin Kroepfl in a statement.

The packaging changes will begin appearing during the fourth quarter, with the name change announced at a later date.

The Aunt Jemima brand is more than 130 years old, added Kroepfl, but has not progressed enough to appropriately reflect “the confidence, warmth and dignity that we would like it to stand for today.” The brand has also pledged to donate a minimum of $5 million over the next five years to create “meaningful, ongoing support and engagement in the Black community.”

Shortly afterwards, Mars confirmed on Wednesday that it is planning changes to its Uncle Ben’s rice brand, including a revamp of its logo featuring an elderly Black man. Both brands have come under heavy criticism for their use of Black stereotypes in recent years, which has intensified in the wake of protests about the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.

How grabbing c0ffe3 can help minorities find work

A group of Portland, Ore. creatives has come up with a clever way to help people of colour get their name in front of job recruiters who all-too-often make the excuse that they are unable to find suitable candidates.

Professionals are being invited to add the fictitious company name “c0ffe3” to their LinkedIn profile, portfolio or website, making it easier for recruiters/hiring managers who type the word and a job title into their search field to discover them.

Chelsea Curry, a copywriter with Portland agency Swift (whose LinkedIn profile also includes a 30-year role as director of diversity, equity and inclusion at c0ffe3), told the U.S. trade title AdWeek that she first came up with the idea about two years ago, after repeatedly hearing from agency executives and recruiters that they struggled to find diverse talent.

As of Wednesday, nearly 100 industry professionals, including art directors, account managers and brand strategists had added a role with c0ffe3 to their LinkedIn profile.

Does anyone remember laughter? Or FX?

Do you miss colourful, kind of zany commercials with multiple actors, tracking shots and special effects? Ones that are visually interesting and soundtracked by cool songs from your youth (maybe even your dad’s youth)? Yeah, us too. And that’s why this new ad for the Norwegian telco Telenor has us hitting the “replay” button today.

Created by Denmark’s Nord DDB, “The best is yet to come” envisions a colour-saturated future filled with hover cars and all kinds of non-sensical button-activated devices. It’s 45-seconds of constant movement and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it visuals, and it just feels so comfortable and nice.

There’s no sombre piano or mention of “these uncertain times.” There’s not even any dialogue, with the soundtrack instead provided by BTO’s 1970s hit “You ain’t seen nothing yet.” It’s definitely got more cowbell, and it’s glorious.


Chris Powell