Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Intel inside: confusion outside...!!!

A black kid goes to school and notices that the teachers treat the white kids better than the black kids. So he goes home and paints himself white and shows his dad.
"Hey dad look I'm white!"
His dad kicks his ass, and says "alright go show your mother".
"Hey mom look I'm white!"
His mom beats the shit out of him then says "go show your gradma".
"Hey gradma look I'm white" she beats his ass and sends him to his room.
About an hour later all the family comes to his room and says "have you learned anything from this?"
The kid says "yeah I've learned I have only been white for an hour and I already hate 3 blacks.......

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What is the problem with this ad?

How insensitive is this and how insulting is the depiction of the black community ?
How irritating was it that it created a furore and the company had to withdraw , apologise and unleash a PR war to damage control?

But that was enough to make people deeply disappointed and cry from roof tops....
See a sample....
Even if this ad were created by person(s) with social autism and/or no comprehension of how this ad would be perceived in a former slave nation such as the U.S.A., I still cannot find a single positive attribute to this ad... said one in an angry mail shot to Intel guys who were for sure caught in a whirl of surprise....

It is true that the “Sprinters” aren’t ready to sprint; their heads are down.....they aren’t running anywhere, except perhaps into each other or into the person in the center and the person in the center seems to have no purpose other than to either lord over the “Sprinters” or express satisfaction of the “Sprinters”.... see the smuck in his face... the white bossy smuck!!! BUT does that make an ad insensitive??
That is one side but why an obvious mistake when you could see it...?

How can such a non creative (it is ) ad pass through the first levels of approval and reach the client and gosh, get even their nod and reach the print stage..?
Forget creativity, wasnt it written across the ad ( with some commonsense it could be read) that it had huge potential to explode???

Arent the executives taught to see the ads in 'objectivity' and strip them threadbare to see whether it carried any chance to be misconstrued by the viewer,later on?


This is what Intel had to say about this fiasco in their blog.. a PR attempt to damage control...


Intel's intent of our ad titled "Multiply Computing Performance and Maximize the Power of Your Employees" was to convey the performance capabilities of our processors through the visual metaphor of a sprinter. We have used the visual of sprinters in the past successfully.
Unfortunately, our execution did not deliver our intended message and in fact proved to be insensitive and insulting. Upon recognizing this, we attempted to pull the ad from all publications but, unfortunately, we failed on one last media placement.
We are sorry and are working hard to make sure this doesn't happen again.

Nancy Bhagat
Vice President, Director of Integrated Marketing


This is not just the INTEL story... remember Benetton and the likes...


Of course when the Marketer spends millions in money and hundreds of personnel in its marketing strategy development, luxury of making mistakes shouldnt exist, couldnt be affordable..... Somebody working on the ad should have had seen the fact that despite the intentions, the piece does have a subliminal and concealed connotation and there could be reinforcing of stereotypes.....

Discussion of racism, which has proven potency of hydrogen bombs, would simply had not been there if atleast one looked Chinese or some thing else...... see here some ads which celebrate culural diversity and multi racism without hurting any one... they may not be the creative best but atleast they give and leave behind some positive feeling to the TG...

So that ostensibly means that people don’t feel offended for no reason and if they do,it is not the advertisers job to create controversies.. After all, there is no room for cavalier dismissals of anyone’s delight or offense at various subjects......
Advertising is not allways about logic or exact interpretation.... it never was and never shall be.... what kind of depiction is displayed is not the bone of contention here.... Instead, the perception and feeling the audience takes away with them in a 3-5 second viewing is central to effectiveness and effectiveness is the core. Here the inexorable reality seems to be the plight of a black man in a bowing position to a white male. If the annals of the business of slavery and the imagery used by the advertising of the past were different, this juxtaposition would have been a non-issue.... just see some ads here , to confirm this aspect...





After taking some time to really read all about the Intel advertising campaign,( if you really care) one will get to see the point Intel was trying to make—although it took some time and eye-squinting for it to sink
in.....

A typical scene goes like this...


(The audience seeing the picture for the first time) “hey—are those black men bowing to a white slave owner?!”
( He looks closer) “No wait, when I look closer I see they’re all runners ready to sprint, but then…why are they all black sprinters? Why not mix up the runners with non-black individuals?”
(looks even closer) “Oh wait..I think it’s the same black guy photoshopped 6 times over an over again. Was that laziness on the part of the producer?”
(Reads public statement by Intel’s VP) “Ahh..I see.... they photoshopped him in an effort to visually represent the multiply computing processes aspect of the ad…I get it ,,,,multiply the runners…”
Any ad that entails and calls for that much research and delving in, on the part of the viewer is an incredibly pitiable and dimly executed advertisement.....
Where did these marketing guys and the ad agency folks go to school??
Tail piece:...
"... the hydrostatic paradox of controversy. Don't you know what that means? Well, I will tell you. You know that, if you had a bent tube, one arm of which was of the size of a pipe-stem, and the other big enough to hold the ocean, water would stand at the same height in one as in the other. Controversy equalizes fools and wise men in the same way. And the fools know it...."
-- Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) American author and poet....

1 comment:

Carl Gustav said...

Happened to see the post accidentally and am happy to note how a blogger in india, is discussing an international issue like this and that too thread bare. The world is flat, guess Friedman was right !

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