Humorless people freak me out.
Really, I just don’t get them.
Every one is UP in arms about the ‘recent string of tasteless commercials’ on television.
Over the top?
Well, duh, YES!
The most recent offender is PepsiCo. It was so ill-received they apologized publicly. The sixty second online commercial was for Mountain Dew, the official drink of my family.
Deemed racist, the ad featured a battered white woman on crutches in a police station trying to pick a suspect out of a lineUP.
A lineUP of black men.
Granted, they could have thrown in a white guy!
The lineUP also contained a talking goat, named Felicia making threatening remarks, advising her to “Keep your mouth shut.” and “Snitches get stitches”, prompting the woman to run from the room screaming.
Criticism came from everywhere, claiming that it perpetuated racial stereotypes and downplayed violence against women.
PepsiCo spokesperson said the company was made aware last week that some people found it offensive. It was offensive, and I’m sure they knew earlier.
But, it was also funny, very funny.
The ad was developed by Tyler the Creator, a rapper, who could not possibly be more offensive if he tried. He along with the entire marketing department were duly slapped, and put on notice not to get caught playing naughty again. On Wednesday Mountain Dew tweeted: “Hey guys – made a big mistake we’ve removed the offensive video from all our channels. #fail.”
But, before you toss all your Mountain Dew, they aren’t the only ones on the hot seat. Chevrolet, the all American automobile had an ad with a song that was offensive to Asians. It ran a clip of a song from 1938 referring to China as the land of Fu Manchu where people say “ching, ching, chop suey.”
Well, Fu Manchu the last time I looked was Chinese, even if he’s a fictional character introduced in the first part of the 20th Century. And, BTW, so is chop suey!
It was part of a global ad campaign, but was running in Canada, which is apparently overrun with overly sensitive Chinese.
Of course, in our politically correct world, the ad was pulled and an apologies abounded.
It goes on. Last month, Hyundai was on the hot seat for an ad featuring its hydrogen powered auto. It was pulled because it was ‘insensitive’ since it had a man trying to commit suicide by inhaling its exhaust fumes. The car is a zero emissions vehicle, and releases no carbon monoxide.
Hyundai apologized for the ad, but hasn’t apologized for its cars. Hmmmm?
McDonalds got in trouble for an ad that featured a distraught woman and was very much like an ad used for a crisis center.
Of course, Ronald apologized for the insensitive ad, but no word from them on the fact that they’ve clogged the arteries of millions of people world wide and are probably the greatest contributor to obesity next to my Mom’s Chocolate fudge!
There are more, from Ford to Family Guy, way too many to list.
Has everyone lost their mind?
Or has everyone lost their sense of humor?
They are all funny!
Why all the fuss?
Ronald Goodstein, an associate professor of marketing at Georgetown University says these ads weren’t tested in the proper way. They test the ads, but with the wrong audience. Mainly, they are “acting outside their home countries, and are not as sensitive to the cultural differences in places whre they sell as they are to their home issues.”
In other words, as I hear from time to time, “know your audience.”
Maybe the audience needs to buck UP, man UP, and take it on the chin.
Every one of the ads was hilarious. Yes, they were funny.
Someone somewhere is going to laugh. And someone somewhere is going to be offended. Personally, I think it is because people like to be offended. They love to make a scene, get their 15 minutes of fame, and show their righteous indignation proving just how much better they are than the guy next to them.
I say get over it.
And it sells stuff!
And at least it’s not Cathy Rigby on the uneven bars selling Tampons!