Marketing Code-X

Going Natural

Image for Going Natural

The CODE-X series catalogs a vast codex of source codes (aka “signs”) extracted from past audits.

Note that signs on their own, while sometimes interesting, only become truly revelatory and useful once they’re sorted into thematic complexes, and the complexes into codes, and the codes into a meaning map. We call this process “thick description”; the Code-X series is thin description.

GOING NATURAL” NORM: Affirming a woman’s decision — an African American woman, in most cases — not to straighten her curly or textured hair.

GOING NATURAL” FORMS: Language and tonality suggesting that natural hair is a hard-won right, in an oppressive society and repressive culture: “Your hair, your choice,” “Speak out on your choice to be relaxed or natural” (Dr. Miracle). Language and imagery celebrating natural (non-relaxed) textured hair as being real, the way nature intended: “Au Naturale” (Dark & Lovely); “#EdenRealBeauties” (Eden Bodyworks); “Thank God I’m natural” (TGIN); “Nourish my natural style” (Pantene Truly Natural); “Rediscover the curls you were born with” (Dove Quench).

From a 2015 audit of the Curly/Textured Hair Care category.

Tags: CODE-X, Hair Care