Microsoft Race Swap in Ad…Who Cares?

  Did you hear about the controversy around the “Microsoft Photo Swap” last month?  Microsoft turned a black man into a white man using Photoshop to reuse a photo on a website that ran in Polish, intended exclusively for Poland.  Not sure of any backlash in Poland, but people in the US found out, expressed outrage, and Microsoft apologized…

AcZone Ads Feature Tired, Standard Stereotypes

Smart Asian Girl…check! Black Basketball Player…check! Hispanic slut in mini-skirt and heels…check! White/blonde cheerleader…check! I was talking to someone earlier this week about the intersection of anthropology and marketing…how to market to people of different backgrounds without perpetuating stereotypes. “How do you do that?” he asked.  While marketing should always start with your objective in…

Good to Great and the “Eeewww” Factor in Multicultural Marketing

    In evaluating multicultural marketing, it’s good to look at who’s doing what (is the black kid the basketball player?  The older adult technologically illiterate?  The Latina dancing?), or to keep an eye on ‘agency’ (who has the power–is one group making fun of another, is the group represented the way it would represent…

Putting the ‘Multicultural’ in Multicultural Marketing

 Talking about racial identity and multiculturalism is trendy, and what good marketer doesn’t immediately exploit a trend to make a buck?  Take a look at these three ads that incorporate interracial themes in the creative development of the ad for their client: Starburst-Multiculturalism is the “punch-line” (by TBWA\Chiat\Day New York) This ad builds an analogy…

Advertising in China: The President, Blockberry, and Cultural Appropriation

 My first reaction?  Totally inappropriate.  My second reaction?  If it meant not raising taxes due to new revenue streams, why not?   Although, “why not” might be answered by Conan O’Brien’s experience with international advertising (below). The Wall Street “China Journal admittedly hasn’t verified this with Robert Gibbs, but we’ll go out on a limb and…

Older “Bad Boy” Makes Good Cross-Generational “Ad Boy”

Talk about reinvention.  From 30 year old accusations that he preached devil worship (with subliminal messages in his ‘records’ if you played them backwards) to The Osbournes, to my 8 year old singing “I am Iron Man…running over children in my mini-van,” from the back seat of the car on the way to soccer practice,…

Targeted Marketing: Stereotype or Just Your Personality?

As soon as this June, if you don’t like how ads are representing you, it may be time for a personality overhaul.  NPR reports today about new technologies that will allow for smart advertising…TV ads that are targeted to you, your buying habits and individual tastes. What would your ads look like?  To which spectrum…