Commercialism tests waters with Asian/White couples

I’ve noticed something interesting and pretty cool lately. But I’m not sure many others have (or maybe some have). And I am kind of feeling guilty that it stands out to me. But just take a look at the recent Volkswagen or Lowe’s commercials. You know the ones with couples in it all the time? Pay attention to how the couples seem to have a trend: White guy, Asian woman. But a commercial with a black female lead (HELLO OLD NAVY) eyeing and getting flirtation back from a white guy lasted a millisecond. And the Ikea one with the white guy and black girl in bed with their new sheets lasted even shorter. OK, yes. I’m going there.

Just for sake of argument, I’m not one who is against interracial dating. I’ve discussed it here frequently. And in today’s times, I’m still taken back by how incessant racism still is. But I am a person about observations and I couldn’t help noticing this commercial thing, shallow as it may seem.

What I don’t get is that you don’t really see much of any other mix-race couples being represented on television. Unless you watch Grey’s Anatomy or The Practice — both produced by the same open-minded folks. Boston Legal tapped into it on occasion. As a whole, the shows we watch, seem to tryto break this mold but never really are successful at it long even though those story lines may come up again in the future. But commercials  — consumerism — still seems afraid. Such fears are now, to me, archaic. These recent commercials I mentioned earlier; could it be that big business is trying to “test” the waters by starting with what is “more accepted?” I mean it is about time that they stop doing the generic commercials anyway where we are to assume most couples in America are only same-race. There is such diversity, even on normal programming, it makes me wonder when these advertisers will wake up. I’ve also wondered if it’s more of a matter of people complaining. For example, could people have complained about that Old Navy commercial and now that is why I can’t find it anymore? In fact, I have some search engine hits in my blog stats (I don’t understand why, though) from other people googling to find it as well as the Ikea one.

I promise I’m not bitching. I’m just observing. I’m happy to see that big business is at least trying to move pass the old-fashion thinking. I like those Volkswagen and Lowe’s commercials because they are starting to reflect realism a bit more in our world of today. But how much further are they willing to go? And you might be saying: It doesn’t matter. You are right. However it brings me back to the study of the little black girls who picked little white dolls over ones of their own skin color because they felt that the white ones were prettier, better and not perceived as “bad.” Are WE selling that idea?


4 responses to this post.

  1. Somewhat off topic, but…
    In posting to our site, I have another observations: the lack of black fashion models.
    Asians are all over the catwalk, but African-American models are few and far between.
    Catwalk models are a very elite and small group, so just another observation to go along with yours.


  2. If they did a Trojans or Viagra commercial with a guy and his horse (and a step ladder) maybe the shock would get people to not be so sensitive to interacial couples in ads.

    If no one is shocked then we know that we have less to worry about than we originally thought.
    PETA might even support it if the foreplay was consensual and humane.


  3. Micky, I like that scenario. I think that would be the perfect way to get people over a lot of stuff. They won’t be able to get that image out of their minds!

    Top: Yes, you are right about that. And I think what is weird is that you saw more black models in the mid to late 90s than you do now.


  4. Aren’t catwalk models supposed to be super thin and slinky? Maybe black women are fed up with the fashion industry and their extreme ideas of beauty and have said “fuck you.”

    You know – they revolted against starving themselves, as we all should!

    [Wishful thinking, I know]


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