It’s no mistake that at the closing of this clip, our Ultra Sheen spokeswoman, Sunny, signs off as a the Gentle Persuader. These strategically-positioned commercials aired during Soul Train’s golden era–a time when blacks were almost never seen in commercial advertising. The brand made absolutely certain to capture their target audience at a time when they were practically guaranteed to be in front of the TV screen.
Under the surface of promoting hair care products, Ultra Sheen “gently persuaded” people of color to understand the importance of looking their best. And oftentimes, that started with the condition of their hair. We all have seen it–someone who otherwise looks acceptable, even nice, but when it came to their hair it was as if someone bumped the DJ table and the record stopped.
It’s as true then as it is today, when it comes to strangers, perception is reality and people (even brands) who care want to be sure your first impression is a good one. Think of all of the “gentle persuaders” in your life. How many of them were right? Were you offended at first? Did you take their advice? How did things turn out?
The Best of Soul Train is now available on iTunes. Download the best of 40 years of Love, Peace and Soul today!