What’s In An Ad?…

Everywhere we look, we are constantly being bombarded by advertisement. So much so, that many companies have become so creative in advertising their products, creating the most innovative, eye catching commercials and advertisements, in an effort to make their product stand out and be noticed. Some companies, however, have received attention, not for the creative nature of their ads but rather their contents. In this day and age when everyone tries to be politically correct, it is baffling to see big corporations, who spend millions of dollars on their advertising campaigns and probably employ an army of marketing strategists, make ads that are viewed by many as being insensitive and in bad taste. Judge for yourself…here are a few examples:

This ad by Intel caused quite a bit of reaction and it’s not the kind the company was hoping for. Many were outraged by the White man standing while six black men bow to him.

This is a commercial by Volkswagen advertising their new Polo model. In it, an Arab is seen driving off with the car and parking it in front of a restaurant. He tried to commit suicide with a bomb, but was ineffective because despite being small, the Polo can withstand the blast.

This ad by Sony promoting its ceramic white PSP angered many people, forcing Sony to pull the ad and later apologized for they called “lack of sensitivity”. The ad shows a white woman angrily grabbing a black woman in the face.

This is a toothpaste ad in Thailand. Here’s the synopsis: black man tries to help young girl, mom sees daughter with black man, mom grabs daughter and runs off, black man turns into toothpaste.

Blond, blue eyed, attractive young lady (Anna Kournikova) selling a pair of sneakers. Nothing is wrong with that, right? It’s the three words: “Keep It Pure”, that upset some people.

Barack Obama is being depicted by a monkey selling a wireless phone in Japan. Watch it. Do you think it is racist?

Here’s your challenge…and it’s a medium one…
Post ads, that you come across while going about your day to day activities, that you think is controversial or in bad taste because it sends a negative or mix messages. Look in the bus, while watching TV, while doing shopping in the mall, while buying groceries…they’re everywhere.


4 Responses to “What’s In An Ad?…”

  1. I can’t say for the rest but, the last ad with the monkey depicting Obama isn’t racist. In a lot of Japanese tv shows replace monkeys for humans all the time (heck they even have a TV show dedicated to showing a traveling chimp and his pet dog going around learning all sorts of human activities like make ramen), the President of that company even came out to explain that yeah they do that all time b/c it is funny to them and they didn’t even think about the racial stereotype.
    Also the monkey is the companies mascot and at the time everyone in the world knew obama was campaigning about “Change” and in the ad they use change as in Change over to us b/c we have a cheap price…. research needs to be done before crying racism….

    here is a clip of the show i was mentioning … it is pretty adorable lol..

  2. fngrnailtree Says:

    I’m gonna have to agree with the last one not being too racist only because i have seen monkeys depicted as many characters of many racial backgrounds. it’s the closest animal to humans so it’s not hard to see why the japanese take that approach. they evoke a sense in humans of slight understanding, whether or not we believe in the theory of evolution, it’s the similarities that allow us to see ourselves in their places. many cultural things that we aren’t understood could be thought of as racist, especially when we are taking it with only our understanding of past events in our culture.

  3. Yeah a lot of these ads can be viewed as racist or not sensitive, but seriously some of these are a stretch. It’s just like subliminal messaging. After the class where we looked up all the disney subliminal sexual things, I went searching on the youtube for more subliminal messages due to my curiosity. It can be pretty funny to find out that some of the claims these people had were pretty outrageous. Now, most the ads here are pretty obviously offensive, like the playstation ad; however as far as the polo ad and the toothpaste ad go, I think they were going for the “Harold and Kumar” type humor in that it would be okay to poke fun of minorities, and just broadcasted it to the wrong group of people. As far as the Obama commercial goes, I didn’t think at all that it was racist. The two previous posts pretty much sum up how i feel on that one.

  4. That first ad reminds me of that blackberry commercial which has the black guy running expressing how fast it is metaphorically linking it to black guys are pretty fast and with the add above have the white guy over the fast black guys does cause you to raise an eyebrow at how advertising can be very stereotypical and racist. Because this can imply that you black dudes maybe fast but the white man still is in charge. You have to realize that in a business during this day and age many the people who are doing the work can never comfortable only if they actually own the business.

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