Sunday, February 3, 2008

Has Madison Avenue Lost Its Mind?!

We just suffered through one of the worst Superbowl commercial nights ever. As an Agency we are actually outraged that the majority of the commercials aired look like an America that was idealized a long time ago as a place where there were only white people in mainstream media, and an America where other groups of people were pretty much marginalized. This evening, February 3, 2008, we actually saw a commercial on the Superbowl that featured some stereotypical Mariachi’s as comedic fodder promoting Taco Bell????!!!!!

Can someone out there explain to us the rationale behind these lame, frat boy humor(less), flat commercials? I can tell you that for us the most glaring issue was the minimal diversity displayed as well as the subtly racist stereotyping in some of these ads, i.e. dancing lizards with grills, nerdy Indian guy who barely speaks English, jive talking Black athlete, Mexican mariachis, etc! AT&T had the stereotypically goofy white guy trying to be cool rapping. I guess that it is fresh insight for Madison Avenue that whites like hip hop but aren't too good with the flow….Wow!

We know that the Coke spot “It’s Mine” scored well with watchers but is it us, or did it seem kind of …..um….hokey? I am willing to bet it scored well not because of its inate greatness as a concept but because there wasn’t much to choose from in terms of likability. Why are the majority of these commercials so trite, tired, and Caucasian in their sensibility? We think that Madison Avenue is out of touch and that there is increasing relevance for Agencies like ours that keep up with consumer mindsets, know where culture is going, and are organically comfortable with the notion of diversity. After watching last night I am convinced that it is time for a new crop of Agencies like ours to be given more opportunities to sell brands and products on the Grand stage.

Congratulations Madison Avenue and to the companies that approved these ads for doing such a fantastic job of connecting to all of us marginalized non- white folks out there. You really showed us how out of touch you really are, and how feckless the lack of diversity and true cultural insight can really be.

1 comment:

tangerinewatson said...

I agree, I look forward to the commercials and was dissappointed. The Pepsi spot with LL and Missy was a missed opportunity. No offense Vann, who I love at BBDO. The coke ad was admittedly not 'for us'.
I did love the NFL spot where the ball player sees something in the grocery store clerk that the clerk did not see in himself. It showed football players in a different light and reminded us to reach out and inspire those around us. Beautiful!