So I’m sure you’ve heard about that notorious Mountain Dew commercial conceived by
someone I admit I had never heard of before, who goes by the moniker Tyler the Creator.
In case you haven’t seen the spot, which has been called “arguably
the most racist commercial in history,” it featured a bruised and battered
white woman trying to identify the black man in a police lineup, who assaulted (and
possibly raped) her. But a goat (HUH?) in the middle of the lineup, who is the actual
guilty culprit, whispers threats to the women to keep her mouth shut, until the frantic
women refuses to point him out and runs away terrified.
Exactly what that has to do with Mountain Dew, I have no
idea, but the outrage was immediate and swift, calling out PepsiCo (which makes Mountain Dew) and Mr. Creator for their offensiveness
Mr. Creator responded by basically saying it was all
meant in good fun, and, besides, everyone knows that he has a reputation for being
outrageous and controversial, so PepsiCo, fully well knew what they were getting into when they
signed him on to create a commercial for them.
Not surprisingly, PepsiCo pulled the Mountain Dew ad, but, on its heels, comes another TV commercial controversy – this time from Uniball.
The spot is one of three new ads for the writing pen, produced
by the South African branch of TBWA Worldwide, and directed and
photographed by South African TV commercial director Rob Malpage.
Once again, the outrage was immediate and swift, and Uniball
pulled the ad practially five minutes after it was released.
However, this being the age of the internet, you know you can’t
keep anything out of sight for long, as you can see in the actual ad below.
But this brings up the question, just what were they thinking?
Yes of course they want to stand out among the blur of
other TV commercials out there, and to do that, you have to be willing to be daring,
to be noticed and to take chances.
But you have to wonder in the case of the Mountain Dew ad
and the Uniball spot, wasn’t there anyone who, during the creation of the
spots, had second thoughts, and said: “Wait, maybe this isn’t such a good idea after all.“
Then again, one could argue that they actually intended to
be controversial in the first place to get people upset and talking.
True, they had to remove the ads from circulation, but, like I said, they’re still there for anyone to find them. And, besides, it did
what it was supposed to do. To get people taking about the product.
So are they clueless, or are they shrewd?