People are freaking out over a Chinese laundry detergent ad – and rightfully so, because it’s kind of explicitly racist. But, sadly, it’s not the first ad of its kind to be flighted overseas. PHILIP OWIRA rounds up some other problematic adverts that just give you that sinking, WTF feeling.
The advert, by the laundry detergent brand Qiaobi, depicts a Chinese woman seductively summoning a black man towards here and then shaving him into a washing machine with some detergent – which sees him emerging as a light-skinned Chinese man.
First screened on Chinese television and cinema screens earlier this month, the ad is a remake of an Italian advert which depicts an Italian man shoving his wife into a washing machine and later emerging as a black man. (Which also just made us go WTF).
But this is not the first time that adverts targeted towards Asian audiences have taken on a racist tone. Over the last decade, many adverts have come under fire for being overtly racist. We’ve rounded up a few of them.
This toothpaste commercial
We’ve scrutinised it to the death and while it’s clear that this ad – for black herbal toothpaste – is definitely problematic, we’re still stumped as to WTF exactly is going on here.
Watch our reactions to this one here:
Friday at the office: Cloudy with a chance of racism pic.twitter.com/kV6t1MaHnK
— The Daily VOX (@thedailyvox) May 27, 2016
This advert for a Thai health beverage
Fewer things are as fun as talking animals, right? Not in this case though. And just wait until you see the family photo at the end.
The Thai cosmetic company selling skin-lightening capsules
“You just need to be white to win,” runs the tagline of Snowz, a capsule for skin-whitening. The ad features one actress whose skin gets gradually darker, next to a rival with lighter skin.
This Indian skin lightening commercial/mini-movie
The Indian obsession with fair skin is infamous – and this ad series for Ponds’ White Beauty range went all out to reinforce the stereotype. Complete with superstars Priyanka Chopra (yes, the Quantico one) and Saif Ali Khan, Ponds rolled out an elaborate Bollywood-style series of ads to tell the story of how using lightening cream will get you the guy of your dreams.
This Korean fried chicken commercial
Who doesn’t love a piece of fried chicken? This Korean ad played on the idea that no one loves it more than black people do, and used Orientalist images depicting them as wild jungle savages who are about to cannibalistically indulge in a Korean man – until he pulls out some fried chicken to share with them.