Thursday, February 21, 2013

Coffee ad says it's "more black" than jazz performers

I noticed a colleague viewing this campaign on Ads of The World, and my first thought was "what gorgeous art direction!" Then I read the headline.

The wordplay on black things and "black" people is common in advertising. I even saw it used in a local campaign in Barbados, where Afro-Caribbean people are in the vast majority. Brazil is also a multicultural country, with many people of African origin. So I ask you, is my discomfort with this campaign simply a matter of white Canadian guilt?

For me, the ads are puzzling. It could be that there was something lost in translation. Are they saying that their coffee is "more black" than the jazz musicians they portray? Than the music they're playing? 

Blackness in coffee isn't just about not having cream or milk. It also refers to roast and brew strength. So their coffee is more intense?

I don't know. Some other cultures seem to be far more comfortable using a broad term for dark skin colour, culture and/or ancestral origin (whether code for "FUBU" or "other") as a throwaway ad gag. But for me it's bad enough labelling people, based on assumptions about "race," in casual conversation. I don't need brands reinforcing a bad habit.

Via Uproxx
Will we ever get over this shit?


  1. Thank you for your blog! Your insight is always valuable.
    Have you seen new "revolutionary" gendered cereals It seems they come fom Canada.

  2. I have! It's in my bookmarks already (saw it on Sociological Images). Thanks for your interest, Linda!