Monday, June 4, 2012

JWT Argentina Halls ads play up the racial and sexual stereotypes

In the world of international brands, everyone can see your regional marketers screw up. Such as when some unknown client at Kraft-owned Halls greenlit this nice bit of premodern racialized humour by JWT Argentina.

It's already weird to see the sore throat remedy marketed as a breath freshener. But the strategic insight, that everything you say sounds better with numbingly-mentholated breath, ends up in the above ad playing out dusty stereotypes about white insecurity and black athleticism.

And then there's this weird one, from the same series.

She says she's Miss Ohio, but her perceives her as Miss California. I guess it's supposed to be a "bragging rights" thing if he manages to date her. Aesthetically, she's the same. Thanks to modern beauty concepts, even in reality I don't see much of a difference:

 Audrey Bolte, Miss Ohio 2012
Natalie Pack, Miss California 2012
The third ad in the series is about a man sounding more impressive to a woman. Does he do it by winning a beauty contest? No, he does it by being a CEO. And the Halls amplifies his status:

All of this casual racial and sexual stereotyping not only makes the Halls brand look bad, when the campaign shows up on international blogs like Ads of The World. It also makes Argentina look backward.

And if that happens, JWT Argentina Creative Chiefs Gonzalo Vecino and Pablo Alvarez Travieso might have a lot of 'splaining to do...

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