I argue that marketing should be allocated more resources. The evidence for my claim is supported by their 2018 football advertisement.
Before diving into the image, I need to provide some context on Oregon’s history. A lot of individuals have the misconception that Oregon is very inclusive, but did you know that Oregon’s constitution outlawed individuals of color. By law, any person of color living in Oregon could be brought to the town center for a public lashing every six weeks. In the early 2000s, a proposition to remove this language from Oregon’s constitution was met with great resistance.
With this in mind, flash forward to 2018 when U of O its latest campaign: surround yourself with savages. In this ad, one can see how the backdrop was white-washed, in stark contrast to the skin color of these individuals featured. Not only does the word “Savage” have horrendous connotations, but these connotations are also compounded by the history of the state in which this image was produced: Oregon has been less than accepting of individuals of color throughout its existence as a state.
Some critics of my analysis claim that pop culture has “redefined” the term savage to mean strong, determined, fierce, all traits you need in football. However, if the words are synonymous, why not use one of them? This is a University-sponsored advertisement for a school, it should take this into account when releasing material to represent the whole student body.
Bottom line is that the University of Oregon’s ignorance of intercultural communication and history resulted in the creation of harmful marketing material. I recognize that recruitment and selection are important aspects of a company, however, it is a strength when more funds are allocated to marketing to stop the systematic oppression that is being perpetuated.
Nemec, Andrew. (October 29, 2018). Prediction: Will Oregon Ducks add 4-start LB Jared Casey on Thursday? The Oregonian. Image courtesy of Mase Funa. https://www.oregonlive.com/recruiting/2018/10/prediction_will_oregon_ducks_a.html
UO Matters. (December 16, 2018) UO Pres Michael Schill should fire Duck Coach Mario Cristobal for cause. Image courtesy of Mario Cristobal. http://uomatters.com/2018/11/duck-coach-mario-cristobal-should-be-fired-for-cause.html