07.10.08 9 years ago 24 Comments

Sorry about the free advertising for Under Armour (hey, like me, company founder Kevin Plank went to the University of Maryland, so you know it sucks) at the top of the post, but Deuce of Davenport brought our attention to this blog post maintaining that this here ad is just about the most racist thing ever. The argument is so mind-cripplingly stupid, I think it's making me racist.

What amazes me about this image is the deliberate or inadvertent combination of racism, sexism, stereotyping as a big, strong, and apparently determined Black male is seen running after (or behind) an obviously weaker (single?) white female. Even worse, look at the expression on her face. She is not out running in a determined manner of an athlete. There is almost an expression as if she is concerned and stressed, and looking for shadows on the ground to see if someone is coming after her.

Hoo boy, that's 'tarded. This looks like a job for text after the jump.


Really? Because it looks to me, and quite self-evidently, like the guy's not running even in the same direction as the woman in the foreground. And how is her expression any different, any more panicked than his? They're both focusing on the ground in front of them, something people tend to do when running drills. But, no, she's definitely looking for shadows on the ground. That's why she plans to purchase the next line of Under Armour tops with side mirrors and rape whistles on them. This isn't like the LeBron/Gisele Vogue cover from a while back, with a bestial-looking black guy screaming at the camera with a white woman in his arms. It's some guy clearly competing in an athletic event.

Oh, but wait, you're admittedly full of shit:

Yes, I can be accused to seeing imagery that is not there and imagining these issues where none were implied. But, that is the whole reason I call it madvertising. Smart communicators and marketers avoid such potential pitfalls to the best of their abilities. This particular ad surely could have been done a lot better.

So the solution is… what? What constitutes a potential pitfall, having a black guy doing anything but winning the Nobel Prize? Having people of different races and genders appearing in the same ad, however innocuously?

Ack! It's too much! Damn those madvertisers; Always making us impose racist associations where there are none!

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