Friday, October 16, 2009

Big tobacco company urges Indonesians to be their daring black-body alter egos.


Well, this takes the Vogue black face controversy to a different level. Maybe there's something, culturally, that I'm missing here? Anyway, Sampoerna, Indonesia's largest tobacco company (97.95%-owned by Philip Morris parent Altria), wanted—like all tobacco companies—to attract younger smokers. This :90 spot, by ad agency Bates 141, is the result. The spot is tagged "Go Ahead" with the "A" being the recognizable logo for the company's most popular clove cigarettes. From Bates 141's YouTube page description:
"...todays young adult Indonesians, our targets, want to be the actors of their life and stay true to their self. They are doers who dont want to be in the same position as the older generation. They aspire to have a different narration and fight to achieve their ambition and dreams they are a generation of starters who take action while others are waiting. They are todays modern heroes the action generation. Brand A is the pioneering, daring spirit of progressive Indonesia. And thats why Brand A is by their side as they Go Ahead."
You'll note that the better halves are slimmer and happier and crazier and, well, very very black. Like a lifelong smoker's lungs? Just imagine the outrage in the US or the UK. And hey, wait a minute! Back in 1930, Lucky Strike presented smokers' black doppelgängers as evil fatties (via). Previously: anti-tobacco ad round-up.

6 Comments:

Blogger jblakeh1 said...

I think the blackface versions are actually supposed to be animated shadows?

4:33 PM  
Anonymous J said...

at least they weren't smoking menthols...?

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, they seem like shadows, maybe they weren't being insensitive maybe thought never even crossed their minds because they are from Indonesia a country that lacks the same history of offensive caricature as the country of the writer of this article.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well these ads would "somewhat" worked there, however, older sampoerna ads are much better.

and no, there will not be even a hint of black shadows as black people, at least for Indonesians.
(I myself thought that they were shadows the first time).

1:17 AM  
Blogger copyranter said...

That they are "shadows" is certainly open for debate. Why would one want to "go ahead" and be one's shadow?

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Indonesia there's a saying

"Bayang tidak sepanjang tubuh" (shadows are not as long as the real body)

which is usually said to comment someone on their apparent lack of effort when declaring an ambitious goal.

tl;dr saying someone is just bag o' bullshit

5:01 PM  

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