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    November 04, 2007

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    kpli

    Thanks for the lovely post, i've read it with interest and had bookmarked this blog for future reference..keep em coming bro, and i wish you A Happy New Year !!

    Surfer Joe

    All you honkies settle down. all auto companies are scared shitless of creating sterotypes in their ads, so they have a "minority agency" aka black, do these ads for them. You're assuming white people created this ad to target blacks. No way. They went to their minority agency. What would otherwise be stereotyping becomes "understanding the culture". The media buys follow the same logic, but YouTube has changed all that I guess.

    sonya

    I like how the voice over sounds the same as ever...male, unnaccented...

    jon burg

    I think it's compelling creative in that it tells a story. That said, I would have adjusted the copy to avoid those blatant religious references. Just not a smart move by Mazda.

    K. Beckham-French

    I tend to agree. I don't think it's a racist spot, I think it's just a bad, ineffective spot.

    The setting, I think, is what made me feel most uneasy--dark gray concrete walls, and not a lot of light going on, it sort of feels like a prison yard to me. The drab, if shiny, colors on the wardrobe. The singing just seems out of place in the setting, IMO.

    Tony S

    I don't see the big controversy over this spot. Is it because its all African-Americans in it (the underlying message being "this is the car for African-Americans") or is it the gospel music? I wouldn't call myself a religious person, but as an advertiser I've noticed the growing popularity of gospel style music. It's catchy. It's not overly stupid, like most TV spots we see everyday and like you said it's not a white guy in a suit zipping around tight curves in the car. Maybe I'm out of touch, but I'm not seeing the ruckus you think this ad will generate. I think you're reading more into it than is there. If you want to see an ad that is particularly offensive to African-Americans check out this one from McDonalds:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eN9KP6lOZs

    It plays into all kinds of stereotypes, AND it's just really really stupid.

    Publius

    Should have tried preview. Didn't realize the blockquote tag is unsupported. Suffice to say that first sentence is a quotation from the post.

    Publius

    Excessive religious references aside, it seems like a particularly offensive cultural lift.Only if you subscribe to the hermeneutic position that agreeved groups control the interpretation of all narrative that even peripherally connects to their grievances. That sort of thing strikes me as orwellian, but then I'm a white male, so presumably I am not even entitled to a place at the debate table.

    I mean come on! Do you really think that the agency was trying to play fast and loose with the plight of people of African descent? And if that wasn't their intention, then why must we hijack the interpretation and insert meanings that were clearly not placed there by the originator of the speech act? This kind of thing is undermining good-faith discourse on all kinds of issues, and it has become a bludgeon that anyone with exquisite sensitivity (or just having a bad day) can use to tar and feather someone who had nary a racist thought in their head.

    Thought experiment: If a melanin-advantaged individual sees this spot and isn't offended by it, does that make her an uncle tom? Or just unsophisticated?

    Ian

    I had this EXACT same conversation with my wife after seeing this last night. Thanks for pointing it out on your blog.

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