Some people regard the use of archetypes to point to specific groups of people as racist, because it is a generalization. It could be offensive to some members of a group when their media representations are disproportionately distributed across a narrow type of appearance, and advertising is arguably the most prevalent medium available. However, some may think that as long as the depictions do not cause harm, and they are successful in targeting a specific demographic, then they are not racist and are fair game for advertising. Advertising merely reflects our lifestyles, and uses repetition and insistence that this is what life already is to drive consumer engagement and purchase.
They are still quite happy to play into fears and stereotypes associated with race. While political ads are notoriously racist — even in the current presidential election — ads promoting everything from cars to office equipment to breakfast cereal have been laced with negative overtones.
And while some ads are sneakily suggestive, others are almost unbelievably shameless. Keep in mind that these are just a small selection of the many racist ads that have shamefully been allowed to air.
Because many of these ads are routinely taken down, some of your favorites might not be on the list. However, if you find any others that deserve mention, feel free to leave a comment.
VW Terrorist One of the most racist commercials in recent history is particularly appalling. Volkswagon features an Arab terrorist in its ad campaign for the new Polo automobile. The terrorist attempts to be a suicide bomber at the scene of a busy restaurant, but his plan is thwarted because the Polo, despite being small, is just too strong for his bomb.
Harold Ford You know those black boys — perennially immature sex hounds and nothing more. Always looking to show off flashy clothes, hang out with terrorists and score with blonde chicks. At least, those are the racist stereotypes this Republican attack ad against Tennessee Senate hopeful Harold Ford blatantly portrays.
In a classic game of attacking Racism advertisments victim, this Corker political ad tries to argue that voting for Harold Ford is inherently racist…because Harold Ford is crying about racism and that makes his campaign all about race, which is completely racist.
Willie Horton Racist campaign ads are nothing new for the Republican party, however. The Grand Old Party had a grand old habit of playing on racial prejudice — and tying prevailing negative stereotypes of African-Americans directly to Democrats.
In one of the most famous racist ads of all time, the Willie Horton ad of played into beliefs about African-American men being nothing more than dangerous criminals — and made Dukakis seem like the weak, acquiescent leader asleep at the wheel as black convicts were on the loose raping women.
In reality Dukakis had nothing to do with the unfortunate lapse in prison management, but the ad successfully played into racist fears. Old habits seem to die hard. What is clear is that the McCain campaign is actively trying to paint Obama as an upstart and an outsider who is not a true patriotic American.
For example, in a recent ad showing Obama photoshopped on Mt. Rushmore, the dollar bill and the Statue of Liberty, the message is clear — Obama is not the typical, historical American leader. Emobile Japan Racist, or not? But the company says it has a tradition of depicting people as monkeys…making the American reaction ironically telling.
Or is the ad racist after all? Why not feature a hot chick like any normal beer ad? Blood, whales and mockery at the sushi joint seems like a bizarre — and hateful — way to promote beer.
A woman shoves her white husband into the washing machine, pours in some detergent, and out pops a muscular black man. The ads were promoting the new ceramic white PSP.
The ads featured an aggressive, strong-looking white woman clawing, clutching and otherwise dominating a subordinate black woman. The campaign was universally panned as racist and Sony yanked the ads, apologizing for its lack of sensitivity. In this local car dealership ad, the Superman costume-wearing dealer warns against foreign import automobiles and demonstrates his ability to kick some Asian ass.
Intel launched a national campaign in that was almost unbelievable in its symbolism — but it was most definitely real. A white manager master? Sales Genie Sales Genie is guilty of several blatantly racist ads.
Racism Is Kool This Kool-Aid ad offended many with the stereotypical hip-hop basketball-court vignette. Lucky Charms Food has served as a rich vein for racist advertising opportunities.
During the s, Irish Americans faced heavy social and labor discrimination. Commonly held stereotypes held that the Irish were greedy, selfish, superstitious, perverted and thieving. This particular commercial is particularly cheery, but the Lucky Charms leprechaun character is in fact reinforcing racist stereotype.
At the time, no feathers were ruffled — cultural groups from Italians to Asians to Jews were fair game for television advertisements as late as the s.
Drug Dealer Monster This public service ad warning children about the dangers of drugs only serves to make black men out to be terrifying monsters. Sensitive viewers were understandably offended.The fact that it’s still a hot topic on social media comes to show how strongly people feel about the use of racism in branding, be it intentional like this ad or unintentional as the Gap Kids ads below that brought on a backlash on Twitter.
Watch video · Classic late s Levy's ad by Doyle Dane Bernbach. It bothers a lot of people today. Oct 07, · We’ve all seen racist ads printed -- on posters, on magazine covers, and on buses-- but there’s something especially irking about racist commercials. Maybe it’s the noise, or maybe it’s.
Oct 08, · The ad, a three-second GIF, featured three women, each removing her shirt to reveal the next. But the transition from the black woman to the white women — compiled into a static collage by a social media user — evoked a long-running racist trope in soap advertising: a “dirty” black person cleansed into whiteness.
Popchips PopChips, Burger King, and American Apparel— all got in trouble for allegedly racist advertisements last month.
Racism has a long history in advertising, but it unfortunately is still being written. Racist advertisements are not just US-centric, but rather, a transnational issue. In , eMobile released a commercial in Japan that showed a monkey dressed in a suit at an election rally.