Racizm is alive and well in marketing products to the masses. This past spring, Reebok launched the campaign, "I Am What I Am". But when you look at how Reebok defines Afrikanz opposed to everyone else, you know we still facin' discriminatin' dilemmas.
Several yearz ago we wrote about Reebok’s egotistical marketing promo that yelled out the compelling notion that this was “My Planet”. Using a younger Shaquille O’Neal and other athletes, Reebok used the dominant play of these athlete’s to lay out their claim of ‘King of the Hill’ in the continuinin’ war against the likes of Nike, Adidas, Puma and the sort.
To the average hed, this is just harmless fun tryin’ to get in the mindz of the consumer to pick them over everyone else. But to those that know better, what was done then was possibly a prototype to the ever-growing mind-control advertising that exist’s in todayz market.
We all know – or rather should know by now – that consistency is key to successful marketing. The more you hear a song or see a specific commercial advertising a specific product like Sprite, eventually, a large majority of onlookerz will fall into the trap of wanting what the tv and radiowaves are flashing before them. Think about how blatant Sprite has become when they tell you to “Obey Your Thirst” and drink their “soft”drink as if an acidic beverage is soft.
Reebok’s recent ad campaign is no different... in fact, it’s worse! One who uses their 3rd eye could see the blatant racizm in their adz when you look at the entire series of adz and athletes they used to promote “I Am What I Am.” If you logon to www.reebok.com you’ll see the entire “I Am What I Am” series if you refresh the page.
There’s one with Allen Iverson. Next to his picture (fig.1) you see what appearz to be some kind of devil or demon... “I Am What I Am.” So I guess they sayin’ AI’s evil. Next (fig.2), and even though there may be some truth to it, they got 50 Cent with fingerprints next to him... “I Am What I Am.” So I’m guessin’ they’re sayin’ he’s a criminal.
Then we have Houston Rockets center, Yao Ming (fig.3) who has an image of a basketball goin’ inside the rim... “I Am What I Am.” So I guess they sayin’ he makes shots... or do he??
Next we have Lucy Liu (fig.4) most noted from the movie’s Charlie’s Angels. They simply have next to her a picture of her as a child smiling appearing to be sliding down a sliding board on a playground. “I Am What I Am.” So she’s basically the cute little Asian girl, you know, so pleasant; so gentle; so pure...
And last I found one of tennis player, Andy Roddick (fig.5). And what do they have next to him? A championship trophy. “I Am What I Am.” So I guess the white guy’z a champion.
Now let’s recap. We got 2 Afrikan men – 1 a devil, the other a criminal; 2 Asianz – 1 a b-ball master??, the other a cute, cuddly likkle girl; and a champion who, you guessed it, is a white guy.
Am I reachin’? You think about it. Decisionz are made when it comes to advertising, and these firmz are certainly tryin’ to convey a message. If they can get you under their spell to invest in their products while at the same tyme continue illegitimate stereotypes, don’t they even think they’d pass it up. Ask yourselves, Y they couldn’t have AI with the same kind of graphic used for Yao? And AI’s much more accurate and clutch in his game!
Or better yet, ask Y they decided on these images. Or even better, ask why the only adz we’ve seen in the hood is either the AI or 50 ad?!!? There’s certainly a reason and I’m sure it echoes that of a certain discriminatin’ dilemma.
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