Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Racism anyone? LA not ready yet?

New advertising billboards in Los Angeles are causing a stir. Angelenos are not liking the Billboards, say the newspapers. Chicago is next and then New York. An American GI and his Muslim wife are pictured (they are really married, not just actors) the agency says. There are also TV commercials for the same product which show them dressing for work in the morning. Before she puts on her veil. OMG. Ah, well. No cause for alarm. This is our world today, and I see nothing wrong. Apparently the ad agency thought it would be controversial, though. They have said one of the billboards is going up in NYC about 3 blocks from "ground zero."

So what?

The product is supposed to stop you from snoring, so you can "be together" in bed.

Bigger fish to fry, I say.


  1. I can understand the disquiet this billboard causes. It doesn't sit well with me.

  2. I don't get the big deal. I'm pretty sure muslims have married non-muslims before.

  3. Lee- Advertising is all about controversy and getting attention but I'm not sure people looking at it are thinking about the product being sold. :) I hope you are well.

    Stephanie Barr =

    "I don't get the big deal."

    American soldiers have been killing Muslim people lately. And (some) Muslims have been killing American soldiers and generally hate them. For years now. Now they're supposed to be in love. Get the big deal now?

    You can't be stirred. :)

    1. And muslims have been killing muslims recently, and christians are regularly killing christians, but muslims are marrying muslims and christians marrying christians.

      But the billboard? I don't see what all the fuss is about.

    2. Sure. I agree (as I said in the post, more or less.) I was only giving Stephanie B. my usual jazz to try and set her off because I know very well she knew why the ad was controversial and just pretended not to recognize it. It's sort of my job with her.

      Again..... Controversy=good advertising. Controversy=people talking about your product.

      Saying you don't recognize why the advertising stirred controversy is (my opinion) dishonest. None of us were born yesterday. There is another "controversial" tv ad being milked right now by General Mills (Cheerios) and will be shown on the Superbowl broadcast. It's black-white mixed marriage deal is like their other ad from last year except now they are having another mixed-race baby. Pretty old hat and even boring stuff but they think it still stirs controversy. Hence, more cheerios sold. Doesn't matter that I (or you) don't find any of this upsetting, because of my (or your) personal value system. But I know SOME people find these things still controversial and therefore the Advertising whores will use them to push buttons and draw attention to their products. I guess I should have come up with a better title for this post that stressed how advertising works. And how offensive the ad companies are when they purposely push the buttons that scratch old scabs. It's a cheap tactic to use just to get more attention for their product. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe others reading this will think it's pure class to advertise this way. My reaction? Probably to not buy a snore product or General Mills products.

    3. As you say, it's not that I don't know why it was controversial, but I don't get why it should be. Men still kill and rape women, but they're together in advertising all the time. There are women who have killed or maimed men, but I see them as couples frequently.

      The notion that because some "choose today's label" individual isn't very nice means all l"choose today's label" individuals aren't very nice and is inherently flawed. As long as we keep buying into it, the problem won't go away. So, I'm doing my part.

  4. Meaning, yes, I can see it would stir controversy, but, y'know, Martin Luther King day just came and went, and there's still a lot of people who don't can't or won't accept mixed marriages between people of different skin colours.
    People who won't accept a member of their family marrying someone of the same pigmentation, but a different religion.
    Or the same religion but a different branch.
    A catholic family whose daughter marries a lutheran, mormon, ebeneezer-strict-baptist or whatever.
    In Los Angeles, I'll bet there are hispanic families who are upset if their younster wants to marry a gringa, and vice versa.
    We humans are nasty, tribal creatures. We view anybody not quite like us with deep suspicion.
    Back where I come from, it's a heinous sin for a yorkshireman to marry a lancastrian lass. We know lancastrians are a treacherous lot. They think the bathtub's for keepin coal in.
    As for scots........................

    1. I still have a gnawing feeling you are missing the point on this Soub. Anyway, speaking of the list of entrenched haters you mention, I really doubt the ad was directed at them. It would only make them angry, not make them want to buy anti snore or cheerios. Or maybe I am the one missing the point. Anyway, my reaction to this ad and that other tv commercial was indignation that someone would be so crass as to try to make a transparent attempt to ingratiate themselves to a more intelligent group in hopes they would buy more antisnore/cereal because, hey, those merchants are one of US, by god. We'll buy their product because they are so darn progressive. Me? I say anyone who is intelligent enough not to be prejudiced is also too intelligent to not be insulted by the selling attempt in that vein. The very thought of the ad company thinking that might be true would piss intelligent thinking people off. Did me.

      Then again, I've been wrong before. I think.

    2. The TV news stations tonight were all abuzz with the amount of traffic generated on twitter in response to a TV (ultra liberal, odd) news guy's hateful twitter last night about the "mixed race family cheerios commercial", so much so that the news guy was fired today.

      That's the reality in today's advertising world: Twitter activity.

      So... piss off some rednecks and they go wild on Twitter and the liberal folks respond even harsher, and... BINGO... your product gets notorious. That means sales, simply by more exposure.

      To use race or religion (or even war) to rile people up simply for ad-buzz is still despicable, even if you are selling Cheerios. Says I.

      The Twitterer -fired TV MSNBC news guy - was commical (to me) because his sin wasn't in being for or against the ad, but in Tweeting that the ads would certainly piss off conservatives. Or Republicans. Or something like that. Dedicated political liberals won't get why such a tweet might be offensive since it is OBVIOUSLY true. Ask me and I'll tell you. :)

    3. That's not how it's supposed to work, I suspect. There are plenty of people who will hear about the controversy, may or may not look at the ad but at least the name of the product will be noticed. If at some time in the future they are looking for a cure for snoring they will remember the name, and... Job's a good'un.

      Benetton used to do very controversial ads, very. They've gone very quiet and I forget what was controversial but I do remember the name.

    4. Hopefully those numbers of people in your examples are dwindling, Soub. One can hope.

  5. You're right, Sheila. Image advertising. Name placement. And that happens faster with controversy and/or a Twitter buzz. I guess these particular examples just crossed some sort of line in my mind as to what is acceptable even for controversy fodder. I have an imaginary line. They don't. Thanks for stopping by.



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