Marketing fail: AC Milan scores own goal with ‘Haka’ Nivea prank

Apr 25, 2016 | CPG, Online advertising, Online video

Italian football team AC Milan has come under criticism for perfoming a spoof ‘Haka’ dance before a match to promote a Nivea cream, with many branding the act ‘disrespectful’. The club’s players appeared to take to the field before performing an imitation of the tribal dance, the haka, most prominently performed by the New Zealand […]

Italian football team AC Milan has come under criticism for perfoming a spoof ‘Haka’ dance before a match to promote a Nivea cream, with many branding the act ‘disrespectful’.


The club’s players appeared to take to the field before performing an imitation of the tribal dance, the haka, most prominently performed by the New Zealand rugby teams.
The incongruous display stems from a marketing deal between the team and Nivea, a cosmetics brand.
Actors performed a version of the Maori war cry before San Siro match to promote skincare product
The New Zealand Herald was distinctly unimpressed and described the stunt as “cringe-inducing” and “one of sport’s most awful – truly gut-wrenchingly awful – promotions”.
A similar marketing ploy during the Rugby World Cup, involving former England star Matt Dawson dancing the “hakarena”, also drew widespread condemnation.


AC Milan’s effort was embarrassing and many were struck by the sheer lameness of the ploy. “Superficially appropriating another culture’s serious custom for a light-hearted publicity stunt might be a bit problematic,” says the Daily Telegraph. But the main reaction was “widespread nausea at the thought of how low football seems to have sunk”.

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