Friday, February 08, 2008

5093: Ad Industry Displays Offensive Diversity.

(This perspective is a bit tardy, but things have been busy at the office.)

The Super Bowl ultimately proved that the advertising industry is indeed making progress with diversity—although probably not in the way most folks would care to admit.

This year, the premier sporting event featured at least three examples of culturally clueless commercials. However, the individuals instigating the insensitivity included a range of ethnicities, races, faiths and more. It’s a veritable melting pot of politically-incorrect marketers. drew the greatest negative responses, prompting the Omaha-based advertiser to pull its spot starring panda bears speaking with exaggerated Chinese accents. The campaign was conceived and written by the company’s CEO, who describes himself as half-Indian and half-Jewish. He also insists others have forever made fun of his heavy accent, and he loves it. Gee, this guy belongs on Madison Avenue.

Bud Light drew criticism for its Carlos Mencia commercial, replete with cartoonish stereotypes and a side of sexism. In this case, the creative culprits were from LatinWorks, one of Anheuser-Busch’s Hispanic agencies. Officials from the beer company were quick to defend the work. A Bud honcho proclaimed, “We particularly probed hard last year and this year with various ethnicities” to gauge reactions. According to the research, consumers allegedly found the Mencia messages to be “light-hearted, fun and all-inclusive.” Guess we can expect the Mind of Mencia show to soon migrate from Comedy Central to The Disney Channel.

The biased bombardment was completed by a White advertising agency, the ever-controversial Draftfcb, with its promotional spot for Taco Bell Fiesta Platters. From a moronic mariachi band to a seductively sluttish female office worker, this commercial covered a cornucopia of isms and ignorance. Even the fast feeder’s iconic Chihuahua would vehemently deny any association with this gem.

Somebody call New York City’s Commission on Human Rights and report that diversity is thriving, as everyone’s receiving an opportunity to broadcast multicultural miscues.

No comments: