Battlepanda: Racist Cola


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Racist Cola

Send in ten receipts for merchandise that will help you act like a racist douchbag

The latest Coca Cola ad campaign in Taiwan is just jaw-droppingly offensive. First, a garden-variety portrayal of Africans as simpletons who go "brrr" in a comically exaggerated manner when they crack into a coke.

You might think, well...OK, it's not really PC, so? For a market like Taiwan without much contact with Africans or much of an internal black population, is it really offensive? Let's face it, we all stereotype cultures/peoples distant from our own. Isn't it kind of unreasonable to import the kind of heightened awareness of race from the US and expect it to apply everywhere?

Then I saw this ad, which clearly and unambiguously crossed the line for me. It is of a local comedy celebrity called "Natto" (納豆), in blackface imitating one of the Africans in the ad. The ad campaign blog asked people to submit their own videos imitating the original ad in return for merchandise including a baseball cap with an afro on it.

This is not an isolated case of racist coke commercials around the world. Here's one from India, and one in Sweden.

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