Have you guys seen the new Adidas ads? The ‘We Are London’ ads?
I find them annoyingly stereotyping, but I forgive them because I’m a sucker for a good advertising campaign in terms of integrating the right social media etc.
Despite that it’s now been a year since I quit my marketing career in the creative industries to freelance as a writer and all that stuff, and although it was one of the best decisions I ever made, I still am a marketing and advertising geek. I think what does it for me is that good advertising can really tell us about ourselves as a society.
The reason the Adidas campaign annoys me however, is because in trying to show a diverse range of young Londoners they seem to be doing the opposite, by for example categorizing young black creativity into grime artists. I think grime as a youth genre is quite original, but I don’t like this romanticizing of ‘hood’ culture and perpetuating it into the mainstream. There is nothing glamorous about living in the ghetto. Real, possibly rewarding, toughening, but not glamorous. My friends over at Parlour mag also highlight the absence of women in this ‘all-inclusive’ London ad campaign.
Actually before I get to exciting part of this post, which is a Xmas pressie from the MsAfropolitan Boutique, I have one more thing to say about advertising. Do you remember that Beyonce ad that got banned off daytime TV for being too sexy? Now I agree that for the sake of selling a perfume Queen Bee got a bit horny, but what I didn’t understand was why Charlize Theron and Britney Spears are allowed to seduce daytime TV viewers with olfactory products? Curious as I am, I emailed the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) about this and I’m yet to receive a response. Is it just me or is that worth getting curious about?
I’m endlessly grateful for having this platform to exchange thoughts and meet with people from all accross the globe. Thank you for the time you share with MsAfropolitan. As a small gesture of appreciation I would like to give one lucky person a gift from the MsAfropolitan Boutique – the Mariama Xmas/Kwanzaa Lavender Scented Gift Set worth £26.
If you would like to get this Ankara fabric lavender scented sachet set with 4 sachets to sniff on and cuddle up with during the xmas hols, please add a comment and include ‘Mariama Sachet Set’ in your comment to confirm you are commenting for the gift set. UPDATE: The last date to enter the competition is December 23rd 2010.
Thank you for your valued support in 2010!
I haven’t seen the Adidas campaign, where have I been? I am tired of stereotypes to be honest, and the glamorisation of ghetto living. I thought in 2010 we’d be over that but it’s an ongoing theme in different genres not just advertising, but film also. There was a film like that on Channel 4 a few weeks ago called One Day, it outraged quite a few people. As for Beyonce, I think she is becoming a victim of her own success, unfortunately. Let us know what response you get from the ASA, it’d be interesting to find out what they say.
They’ll do anything to make a profit! It doesn’t surprise me, look at how many US rappers (Nelly, 50 cent, etc) were used to promote big brands, such as Nike & Adidas. What’s more interesting, is the fact there has been a lot of press stopping knife crimes and gang related violence, yet these corporate brands are using the stereotypical “black youths” to promote their products, even though most of them believe that the young black generation is nothing but thugs. To them it’s just another way to put money in their pockets. However, it’s very concerning, because as you said they are romanticizing being “hood” or “ghetto”.
As for the ads, well Beyonce is way sexier than Britney or Charlize, but I’m interested to see what their response will be to your e-mail.
Hope I win this one. Mariama sachet set. Cheers Minna. You are doing a great job. X
I love that you wrote to the ASA, it’s something we should all be more proactive in doing when we get curious or have a problem with an advert. I’m interested to know what they’ll say.
I’m also loving the Mariama Sachet Set – very cute!
The Heat ad was really steamy though … I was like :-O …
Oh wow!!!! You’re into marketing and advertising!!!! I took a class in advertising art direction, it was lovely!!! I have tons (maybe 4/5) of creative advertising books!!!! And I JUST finished a psychology of advertising and mass media class (I took it out of curiosity) I have tons of all these mind books (again maybe 2/3) lol …
So you stopped that to follow your dreams???
MORE GREASE TO YOUR ELBOW!!
I boycotted Law too 😀
I just tried watching the Adidas advert BUT the logo irritates me and I just couldn’t carry on.
Hmm I think they were right about banning the Beyonce Heat advert … it was too much!!! wwwooosshhh!! The steam, the colour, the sweat, the movement, the flames .. I had to close my eyes and peep through my fingers LOL …
And you are WELCOME we love your rants 😀
And I want to win the Mariama Sachet Set, I need to replace the pile of books I have been waking up to for the past 10 weeks!!! Would be awesome to wake up to a lavender scent in the morning 🙂
(ah yes I am definitely going to win with this comment) …
Sorry fabladyH lol 😉
I am commenting for the sake of commenting ha ha ha! As much as I love freebies, I never win so I’m not going to try…
I love your candidness. It is true there is nothing glamorous about the ghetto and that one dimensional view of Blackness needs to be stopped or we need to diversify so its not the only one. Maybe after that we can start working on acknowledging that women exist 🙂
Confessions of a City Girl says
I so agee! Nothing glam about living in the hood… I hate when people do that. There is nothing cute, fun, or wonderful about living in rundown apartments.
this was the response from ASA:
“Firstly, I am very sorry about the delay in getting back to you.
Further to your query, the Dior and Curious perfume ads you have kindly provided links for are subject to the same rules as Coty UK ad – namely that they should be legal, decent, honest and truthful. But when the ASA is dealing with complaints on the grounds of taste and decency, i.e. what is likely to cause offence, there is no absolute definition of what is and is not likely to be acceptable under the rules. The ASA has to make a decision based on the context, medium, audience, product and prevailing standards.
The ASA primarily responds to complaints but we also take action behind the scenes to have problem ads removed. However, although we proactively take action against misleading ads, we do not proactively take action against ads that we think might cause offence. It is not our role to act as censor and to tell the public what we think is going to offend them. In these instances we need the public to lodge complaints with us so that we can then assess whether we think there is a problem under the Code.
To my knowledge the Dior and Curious ads have not prompted the same reaction from the public as the Coty UK ad did. We have therefore not had grounds to consider an investigation of the ads as there have not been any complaints about them.
I hope this information helps out.
Yay! I’m so glad I’m not too late to enter the giveaway for the Mariama Sachet Set!
I hadn’t seen the Beyonce or Britney ads but after watching it, Beyonce’s is way raunchier than either Charlize’s or Britneys! They’re suggestive, I’m pretty sure I saw more of Beyonce than I ever thought I would in that ad!
Wow, it’s been a year since you went it on your own? Doesn’t time fly?!
That really is food for thoughts, i wonder why they continue to run Britney’s ad and the others and had to ban Beyonce’s alone.I have never seen Beyonce’s ad though!off to look for it on youtube.
Enter me pls:Mariama Sachet Set