By Guest Contributor Sayantani DasGupta; originally published at Feminist Wire
The Abused Goddesses of India. The advertisements, created by Mumbai-based ad firm Taproot India, have been making the rounds – not only of my Facebook friends’ walls, but of many a feminist and progressive site including Bust, Ultraviolet, V-Day and MediaWatch, usually along with reactions like “powerful” and “heartbreaking.”
The images are unusual in their aesthetic appeal. After all, it’s not every day that you see the Hindu Goddesses Laxshmi, Saraswati or Durga made to appear as if they have been subject to gender-based violence – with tear stained faces, open cuts and battered cheekbones. But even despite (or because of?) the bruising around those divine eyes, the images are breathtaking – recreations of ancient Hindu paintings accurate to their last bejeweled crown and luscious lotus leaf.
I’ll admit it, I too was entranced by these ads when I first saw them. Having grown up in the heart of the American Midwest at a time when no one in the media looked even remotely like brown-skinned and dark haired me, I have a particular soft spot for images of glamorous Indian women. After childhood and teenage years believing that no one who wasn’t a blonde, blue-eyed Christie Brinkley look-alike could be deemed ‘beautiful,’ I’m still a complete sucker for images of traditional Indian beauty.
Yet, no matter how appealing, these ads are also deeply problematic. The reasons are multiple:
A comment left for the previous post rightly wondered who Taco Bell is really addressing with its campaign starring Chef Lorena Garcia. To be clear, MultiCultClassics did not think the fast feeder was wooing Latinos. Sorry for the clumsy writing. Probably should have typed something like: Latinos know better than to believe Taco Bell creates authentic Mexican food, but maybe White folks will be conned after seeing a Latina chef allegedly cook up new menu items. Then again, that line doesn’t really capture the essence of Taco Bell’s questionable marketing move. On the universal scale of authenticity for Mexican food, Taco Bell occupies the end alongside Fritos® and Doritos®—and fittingly, its most popular recent launches incorporated the snackchips. Perhaps Taco Bell is responding to competitors such as Chipotle and Qdoba, where the food is closer to being legitimate. Or maybe someone at Yum! Brands figured if Popeyes can be successful with Annie the Chicken Queen, Taco Bell will thrive with Chef Lorena Garcia. Regardless, the comments at YouTube show others are not buying the bullshit:
One of these things is not like the other: “Taco Bell” and “gourmet” …or “Taco Bell” and “flavor” …or “Taco Bell” and “tasty” deedeebolden ::: The cantina bowls suck, they’re bland and not good at all—doesn’t even compare to Chipotle in the slightest. bmonee5 ::: [Taco Bell] could SHIT in their tacos and people would still buy, wtf is this shit? AddictsPalato ::: as if it wasn’t obvious that taco bell is for when you’re drunk and/or high as fuck ScottEast91 ::: BRING BACK THE CHEESY BEAN AND RICE BURRITO YOU BASTARDS!!! anoopks ::: Hell yes! The execs at taco bell are dumber than a brick wall. People go to taco bell for fast, cheap food that tastes really good. This is speculation but when they introduce new products like this cantina crap, they discontinue older stuff to make room and lower cost. Idiots. I love how taco bell is flaunting its social media praise (notice how they only select the best reviews) yet they ignored a 3-year-long social campaign to bring back the chili cheese burrito. They don’t listen to us. logictrigger ::: Why is Taco Bell trying to pretend to be Mexican? Lol. This Cantina shit is WAY too overpriced anyway haha NeenaAndEmily ::: Can you honestly call your food gourmet if you have to seriously rework the definition of the word? I highly doubt the line servers at my local Taco Bell will be able to make this appetizing or digestible just because a so-called world-class chef created this concoction. ramesesmmx
by Guest Contributor Jen Wang, originally published at Disgrasian
I know, I know. It’s just a clothing line! Lighten up! And it’s so kawaii as the ads keep telling me, forcing the word on me like a pacifier to the lips of a crying, reluctant babe. (Wouldn’t be surprised if Gwen Stefani had tried to trademark the Japanese word for “cute” some time in the last 5 years or so. She’s already pretty much got “Harajuku”–the name of a Tokyo neighborhood–locked down legally.) And look, the Harajuku Mini for Target children’s clothes collection, which launches Sunday online and in stores, is“kawaii,” in a “What if a little panda cub who was part skater-punk threw up and it looked like lollipops and rainbows?” sorta way.
But, you know, I can forgive, but I can’t forget. Wait, who am I kidding? I can’t forgive either! Because when I see this ad plugging Gwen Stefani’s latest business venture…
by Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published at Angry Asian Man
Spotted this awesome Target commercial on the tube last week and absolutely fell in love with it. I just watched the 30-second spot like five times in a row. It features Shannon, a Cool Asian Mom doing all sorts of Cool Asian Mom stuff for her family (with the help of products she purchased at Target, of course). She does it all…
Playing tetherball, working at the travel agency, beatboxing for her groovin’ kid, taking fabulous all-American family portraits. Sure — nobody’s mom is this cool, but it’s so friggin’ cute, you cannot resist. It’s just refreshing to see a nationally-televised commercial where Asians are not the butt of the joke.
According to Macon D at Stuff White People Do and Craig Brimm at Kiss My Black Ads (Both wonderful blogs that you should be reading on the regular), a Minneapolis-based retailer, Chicago-Lake Liquors, has launched a new ad campaign that depicts middle class white folks acting “black” (or rather the minstrelized version of blackness popularized by BET).
As you can see, it features folks of varying size, shape and color debating the merits of fried versus grilled chicken… including two Asian dudes dressed in ethnic costume for no apparent reason. Seriously, everyone else in the commercial is dressed “normally,” but these two Asian dudes — speaking in heavily accented Engrish, for good measure — are going full Oriental.
What is the reasoning behind this? Once again, the Asian guys serve as the funny foreign element in the commercial — looking, speaking, and at the end the of the spot, dancing like silly-ass fools. That’s racist!. I don’t know, perhaps KFC would like to hear from you about this. Customer contact info here.
Tim, a Brazilian digital communications provider (cell phones, internet service, etc), recently launched an ad campaign entitled “Você, Sem Fronteiras,” which means “You, Without Limits.” “Fronteiras” is a Portuguese word* that means limits, borders, or restrictions, and is often evoked in reference to behavior, culture, and access to resources. In this ad campaign, Tim is encouraging its current and prospective users to think of all three contexts.
The first page of the ad reads: “ALGUMA COISA ESTÁ ACONTECENDO” (“something is happening”):
The second page reads: “UM HOMEM NEGRO COM NOME MUÇULMANO É PRESIDENTE DOS ESTADOS UNIDOS” (“a black man with a Muslim name is the President of the United States”)**: