These ads for the Utah State Fair were pulled from television this past week and the actor who stars in them, Markus T. Boddie, wonders if it might not be racially motivated. Utah State Fair Board members claim the ads “weren’t right” and found them offensive. I think they’re hilarious. They were directed by Jared Hess who helmed the equally quirky Napoleon Dynamite.
Boddie’s performance in the commercials is the stuff of superstardom. Boddie says he was channeling his inner “Barry White.”
“The spirit that we were trying to go for was the old ‘70s singers,” Boddie said. “They were ultrasmooth, ultracool and they could say anything and make it sound good.”
Director Hess expressed concern that the ads were pulled because Boddie is Black.
The ads have been replaced with a little white girl grooming a cow.
If the Utah State Fair is even half as fun as these ads, I’d consider going. Big mistake for pulling them.
Marius Rossillon who went by the pen name of O’Galop was a French cartoonist and early film animator. He’s best known for creating Bibendum, the Michelin man. In these short public service announcements made in 1912 and 1918, O’Galop warns of the hazards of alcohol and tuberculosis. The film on tuberculosis was commissioned by the Rockefeller Foundation to inform the people of France on the spread and treatment of the disease. In both films, O’Galop uses some pretty bizarre imagery to get the point across.
I particularly dig the degenerate spawn of the alcoholic and the drunk clinging to the psychedelically swaying streetlights. His depiction of TB as a malicious skeleton makes for some amusing imagery.
Ad agency Ogilvy and Mather created this campaign to promote Iodex backache balm. Dwarfs wearing t-shirts with a Iodex bottle image and the line “Need help to get to the lower shelf?” assisted shoppers who had problems bending over to grab merchandise.
Ogilvy and Mather’s press release:
To create awareness that Iodex is a backache specialist balm in a memorable way, we launched a supermarket on-ground promotion/activation with the help of Little People (dwarfs), who wore T-shirts and distributed leaflets informing customers to ask for help if they found it difficult to bend down and reach for items on the lower shelves. Shoppers suffering from backache welcomed the assistance offered by the Iodex team.
In the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s, black entertainers made considerable sums of money selling ghetto wine and malt liquor to their less fortunate brothers and sisters. “Liquid crack” was dirt cheap and fortified with alcohol and shitloads of sugar to get you higher faster. As Billy Dee Williams said in his TV pitch for Colt 45, “It works every time.”
40-ounce warriors were macho, sexy and hip…at least that’s what the commercials wanted the black community to think. The reality was much more grim. Malt liquors like Schlitz, Colt 45, Olde English 800, St. Ides, King Cobra and bum wines like Thunderbird and Wild Irish Rose were responsible for an increase in alcoholism, violence and crime in black neighborhoods. High alcohol content and the cost of a bottle being under two bucks was a deadly combination. Add to that the veneer of coolness that Kool and the Gang, Fred Williamson, Biggie Smalls and Snoop Dog brought to the mix and you got a problem that went viral.
Nowadays, low-rent white hipsters drink the poisonous piss in order to give them some kind of street cred while hip-hop artists have moved on to Cristal and Dom. But the high-end shit hasn’t trickled down to Skid Row yet.
While the product sold was crap for sure, the ads themselves are fascinating time capsules, some sending signals that are incredibly politically incorrect: making light of drunk driving, intimating that women will give it up after a few drinks, and using racial stereotypes that border on Stepin Fetchit caricature. And Blacks weren’t the only ones denigrated—check out the East Indian guy in the “Gunga Din” Colt 45 commercial below.
There’s also an interesting clip of Johnny Cannon wielding a Colt 45 pistol and a can of Colt 45 beer. A wise combination, don’t you think? Johnny’s expression of disgust as he guzzles the malt liquor is priceless.
Then I ask a question you brother
What the fuck is you drinkin’
He don’t know but it flow
Out the bottle in a cup
He call it gettin’ fucked up
Like we ain’t fucked up already
See the man they call Crazy Eddie
Liquor man with the bottle in his hand
He give the liquor man ten to begin
Wit’ no change and he run
To get his brains rearranged
Serve it to the home they’re able
To do without a table
Beside what’s inside ain’t on the label
They drink it thinkin’ it’s good
But they don’t sell the shit in the white neighborhood
This TV commercial for the Verizon Droid X has an unsettling similarity to the infamous torture photo that came out of Abu Ghraib. Is this an unfortunate coincidence or is Verizon actually making some kind of sick joke? Whatever the case, I’m shocked that anyone would sign off on this ad. Was the ad agency who created it blind, clueless or deliberately mocking a dark moment in this country’s history? What do you think?
Nxtiak made a video of the commercial recording it directly from a television screen.
Thunderbird is the crack cocaine of wines. It’s fortified with additional alcohol to get you drunk quicker. If you drink enough of the swill it will turn your tongue black, incinerate your gut and napalm your liver. The Gallo Wine Co. designed their firewater with the ghetto in mind. Their radio ads featured a song with a proto-rap vibe, “What’s the word? / Thunderbird / How’s it sold? / Good and cold / What’s the jive? / Bird’s alive / What’s the price? / Thirty twice.” It is said that…
Ernest Gallo once drove through a tough, inner city neighborhood and pulled over when he saw a bum. When Gallo rolled down his window and called out, “What’s the word?” the immediate answer from the bum was, “Thunderbird.
In a move that seems almost surreal, actor James Mason was recruited by Gallo to pitch its poverty punch. He was given a Rolls Royce as payment. Years later, Mason went on to star as a vicious slave owner in the soft-core blaxploitation potboiler Mandingo. Thunderbird shill to sleazoid slave owner ain’t much of a stretch character wise and probably didn’t earn him any dividends in the karma department.
The first ad in the following video tries to glamorize Thunderbird as a sexy, hip and happening cocktail for young stylish Blacks. The second is Mason trying to keep a straight face as he describes Thunderbird as “not quite like anything I’ve ever tasted.’
Alienware’s new laptop offerings are packed with enough power to handle the most intense gaming sessions, but work just as well for listening to Dangerous Minds Radio. The M11x won the Best in CES 2010 award for gaming, supercharging its diminutive frame with great graphics capabilities. The M15x, a step above, packs the same level of power into a comfortable 15’’ screen. Lastly, the M17x is maxed out with the most powerful processors around to ensure you can keep blasting away in the heat of the moment.
Created by the German advertising agency Zeitsprung, this extremely nasty public service announcement depicts HIV in the form of a body modification artist. Yeah, guys with tattoos and earrings and bumps on their heads should be avoided at all costs when it comes to hugs. They might be HIV positive. But big white cuddly bears are okay. You already knew that, right?
Since when has HIV been transmitted through hugging?
The ad is worthless, or at best confusing, as information and propagates an ugly stereotype about people who look different than the average guy on the street.
The message to wear condoms gets lost in the ad’s horror movie shock effect.
Duncan Dowling has come up with some stylish concepts for redesigning American dollars. The vertical layout makes the money easier to handle because that’s the way paper currency is exchanged between people and machines.
You can read more about the project at Dowling’s website.
We have submitted a design concept to a competition being run by New York designer Richard Smith. The Dollar ReDe$ign Project hopes to bring about change for everyone. We want to rebrand the US Dollar, rebuild financial confidence and revive our failing economy.