Monday, February 04, 2008

The Thighs of a Sherpa: SuperBowl Ads

Although I prefer last year's ad, Carlos Mencia and his gang of endearing immigrant geeks managed to pull off another one that comes near to but not quite crosses the line:



Meanwhile, another racist ad angered Asians everywhere. Check out the combo of Chinese accented English, anthropomorphized immigrants eating bamboo, and psychic savior with the "American" voice:



The crazy news is that the ads were designed to be racist. They were conceptualized and written by Vin Gupta, the founder and chairman of the company, in an effort to create the worst ads of the year and gain the company some name recognition. Gupta, born and educated in India before settling in the USA, once served as the ambassador to Fiji.

Since most viewers didn't know that the ads were purposely bad, how did they react to it? Some might not have even noticed the racism while others immediately and publicly berated it, thus fulfilling the company's hopes of spreading their brand. And then there's the group I'm concerned about -- first gen kids who winced at the thought of their classmates, most of whom aren't savvy enough to recognize a marketing ploy, watching it. 

Next year, if the company wants to pull this stunt again, why not add an honest last frame pointing viewers to a url like votefortheworstad.com? Wouldn't that be slightly more ... should we say diplomatic, Mr. Gupta?

2 comments:

TadMack said...

Whoa. Just looked up and realized Superbowl Sunday had passed -- being in the UK one misses some American "holidays" altogether. I was just as happy to have missed Mr. Gupta's contribution. Ugh.

MotherReader said...

My husband and I saw that ad and were shocked. It would have been helpful, to say the least, if they could have mentioned somehow that they were going after the worst ad. But even so, I don't think I like the idea of going after the worse ad award as an excuse for racism. Not a great precedent.

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