Advertisements push our buttons and our boundaries. Ad copy that once might have been rejected for being too risky or simply in bad taste is now often fair game. Companies and organizations work hard to create a brand that is irreverent, humourous and memorable. And that works for many organizations – especially if you are speaking to a younger “less reverent” generation. I use my dancing fingers here because I actually don’t believe that one generation can be less reverent than another – they’re usually just reverent about different things. But you know what I mean.
And there are those who suggest that if you’re talking about an ad, or a campaign, or a slogan then that means it’s effective. I don’t believe that either. The thing is that people complain. I do. And more than complain. Talking leads to new behaviour. There are those that disagree with me here, but they’ve probably joined the dark side.
All of this is by way of introducing this bad advertisement. It’s not just distasteful (not a good brand quality for a restaurant), it’s actually quite racist. And that is an interesting thing about brand positioning – when your brand is related to race, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class, gender or religious beliefs, there’s a good chance that your brand position is creating the other. Edward Said said it most and best, but I think it’s worth saying again. And I think it’s worth developing an analysis of othering in the context of advertising.