Thursday, November 25, 2010

Oh no, State Farm. This isn't Racist. Not in the slightest!



State Farm really does a great job on the Laundry List of Offensive Stereotypes in THIS ad. We've got the Motormouth, Head-Waggling Black Woman who was apparently ready to spend the rest of the afternoon talking at the speed of light had her boyfriend not interrupted with the magic State Farm Jingle. We've got this woman giving us her version of a Fantasy Boyfriend- a rapper-type in tight jeans and with no shirt, and a gold chain no less (what is this, a casting call for I'm Gonna Get You Sucka II?

Then we've got her boyfriend's retaliation- his version of Fantasy Girlfriend. She's a leggy, busty MTV-video type whose breasts threaten to escape from her tank top and whose shorts are strictly a formality. Not to mention what my lovely ex would refer to as Fuck Me Pumps.* Beautiful.

Naturally, the narrative ends with New and Improved Motormouth playing Hypocrite of the Year by chastising her boyfriend- "I was perfect the way I was, blah blah blah..." whatever.

Still not convinced that State Farm has crossed a line here? Then I invite you to read my reaction to State Farm's "Hot Tub" ad (http://thiscommercialsucks.blogspot.com/2010/11/id-switch-but-i-hate-that-stupid-lizard.html.) Check out the white guy's fantasy girl- a fully-clothed, studious looking type who seems to have been caught doing something important with a laptop when suddenly whisked into the ad.

Need this explained further?

Black guy's fantasy= call girl spilling out of what little fabric is covering her body. White guy's fantasy= "girl next door" type, equal parts brain and skin-deep beauty.

Way to be a Good Neighbor, State Farm. Way to shrug off the fact that it's the 21st century and that these kind of disgusting stereotypes are bad enough when they are displayed in films like Lottery Ticket.

You'd think a reputable insurance company would stay away from crud like this. You'd be wrong.

Bottom of the barrel? State Farm is there.

*Ok, I know you can't actually see this woman's shoes after her "transformation." But you just know what they look like anyway, don't you? And I really have been dying to use the term "Fuck Me Pumps" for quite a while now.

39 comments:

  1. Excellent usage of the term, sir.

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    1. Have you seen State Farms ads lately ?The ads are racist because they ALWAYS cast the white guy (and in this case asian female) as looking like fools....while the Black guy ALWAYS looks strong and intelligent (in this case paired with.... you guessed it a blonde white female.)

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  2. If this is how they reach out to black people, do we want to see how they target Latinos?

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  3. I don't see the problem with these commercials at all. Why every time there is ONE image of some group that someone doesn't like, they immediately say it is a racial stereotype. It's insane to think that every version of black, white, latino, whatever, that is put on tv needs to conform to one standard of exactly the opposite of a certain stereotype. Every black person on television or in the movies doesn't need to be a posamtive role model or a representation of modern black people in business suits and sipping a nice box of wine, while discussing the plot of Mad Men. That seems like bull to me anyway.

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  4. In my many years of life this ad is a very good representation of most black women with the attitude and speech displayed here. I wouldn't say all black women act like this, but definitely most of them I have encountered. I don't think it's racist at all, and I am sure it was vetted thoroughly in production.

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  5. Sounds like you're the one speculating talking about shoes you cant even see. Get a life.

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  6. I saw it and found it offensive. The version with the white young ladies is nothing like this. If it was simply a matter of getting a better looking boyfriend and girlfriend it wouldn't be a problem. But after seeing news report after news report about why black women don't get married and why more and more black men don't marry black women, this commercial just adds to the stereotype of the angry, neck-rolling sistah.

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  7. Nothing funnier than someone who has nothing better to do on a Sunday afternoon than post a negative comment on a random blog telling me to "get a life."

    Please, continue your hunt for other blogs of which you disapprove. I'm sure there are at least a few more out there.

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  8. OMG! This is one of the best commercials on TV at this moment. And that chick is HOTT! I laugh my ass off everytime it airs. Thats good marketing. I don't care what anyone says, that shits funny! And it's not a black thing, it's a male and female thing. Wake up.

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  9. Christopher....

    Um, never mind. "I laugh my ass off everytime it airs?" "I don't care what anyone says, that shits funny?" I imagine you get enough abuse from your mom when you stay online past your bedtime, I won't add any here.

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  10. I'd like to borrow this post. If you hate it I'll take it down.

    http://kissmyblackads.blogspot.com

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  11. Craig, great blog! When I'm home from work I'll add it to my favorites.

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  12. I don't know if it is offensive...this (and the comercial in this ad campaing)is too broad of a stereotypes representative of any particular group. Sometimes I think that African American's pick and choose where they offense. Rap and pop R & B music seems like a more logical target.

    I don't recall the white trash of American up in arms at 'My Name Is Earl' or anything you see on Sunday tuning into Fox (from 'Married' to those crappy cartoons... does ANYONE think that white people are really like that?)

    Yes, Sapphire's DO exists and we do enough of tearing at the black women's feminine mystique on our own. Wait, maybe it isn't racist if Tyler Perry or Ice Cube uses the same characterizations in their work...

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  13. I don't get the "this thing over here is MORE offensive, therefore this ISN'T offensive" argument.

    I'm not going to post on the obvious racism in Rap Music because....that's not what this blog is about.

    I don't know what "Sapphire's" are.

    Thanks for posting, hope you continue to enjoy the blog!

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  14. The ad is maybe a little offensive, but I could see the same dialogue for any young city dweller. What's more cringe-worthy to me personally is your own commentary on the commercial.

    "We've got this woman giving us her version of a Fantasy Boyfriend- a rapper-type in tight jeans and with no shirt, and a gold chain no less (what is this, a casting call for I'm Gonna Get You Sucka II?

    Then we've got her boyfriend's retaliation- his version of Fantasy Girlfriend. She's a leggy, busty MTV-video type whose breasts threaten to escape from her tank top and whose shorts are strictly a formality. Not to mention what my lovely ex would refer to as Fuck Me Pumps.* Beautiful."

    What exactly is a rapper-type? Both "fantasy" transformations seem rather homogeneous. Six-pack abs and a well-stacked lady? Oh, how daring... and also attractive to much of the population.

    If you want to criticize the ad, I think you could make an argument against the dialogue delivery, but even that might be fishing.

    What makes this vaguely offensive isn't the dialect, dialogue, actor portrayal, or "fantasy" boyfriend/girlfriend. What's perhaps offensive (or maybe just embarrassing) is the fact that an F100 company is trying to reach out to different social groups by commissioning ads portraying bland caricatures to represent different communities of potential clients. Which means that a team of advertisers sat in a room coming up with different "real world" scenarios most likely beyond their individual experiences, or beyond the experiences of those running State Farm specifically.

    What's sad is that diversity in the ad world is grossly lacking, and spots like this come out looking desperate. Nothing unusual about that, though.

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  15. I find the first woman's delivery the most offensive part of this ad- the head-wagging motormouth black woman made famous by countless B movies and "black-oriented" sitcoms, it just turns my stomach to think that this is the image ad men and perhaps the population in general has of African-American women.

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  16. Way to call 'em out on this clearly racist ad.

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  17. It's idiots like you who keep stereotypes going, your looking to far into it. It's a commercial. Your a jackass

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  18. its awesome. its not racist. its stereotyping...lol I'm a black man and I loved it. I think he should have had more gold chains on and his jeans at his knees held on by a tight belt.lol. We need to take a step back sometimes and laugh at things and not be so quick to call "racism"....don't we have something better in life to do? It would have been just as funny to have seen a fat white guy eating a donut!

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  19. You're an idiot, Don. I only posted your comment because I think that the more people who know that you are an idiot, the better.

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  20. And by the way, Don- if you are a black man, I'm an albino martian. Take a hike, ok?

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  21. John F Jamele are you a republican by any chance? I find your comment about you only post a comment if you like it a typical republican tactic of bullying. It is an offense to freedom and all of society that you would suppress what someone has written.

    I do agree with you on the point that only a white man would say he was a black man so I am sorry to say you are not an albino Martian if that is what you desired.

    as for the commercial, the young lady does have some fine legs. I did my senior thesis on sex in commercials. This was an attempt at trying to attract the attention of men and women of as many demographics it could, and not all for the same reason. The main focus was to get State Farm on the minds of many. Like the child that repeats over and over mommy, mommy, mommy or daddy, daddy, daddy to get the attention of their parent sometimes ends up getting negative attention. The child doesn't mind for any attention even negative attention is better than no attention. State Farm's ad team has done their job. Look at all of the people talking about them and their ad.

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  22. btw anyone that has to tout their education, job placements, and even failed political aspirations either has an ego problem or has a look at me I am better than you attitude. After thirty years of watching teachers I understand were you are coming from. Poor baby, we appreciate you, really we do!

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  23. Wow, bitter and jealous much, James?

    "Look at me I am better than you"- if that's what you saw when you read my profile, that's your issue, not mine. Please, stop measuring your own life against some anonymous blogger. You'll be much happier.

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  24. I am a Black male, this is not Racist get a grip. I love them using good-looking Black people for a change. Thank You State Farm

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  25. +1 for "not racist" get a clue.

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  26. I'm not trying to add more fuel to the proverbial fire, but it seems that based on all the comments, everyone that appears to disagree with your opinion is faced with ridicule rather than a thought provoking response that supports your opinion.

    I think the issue here is pulling the "race card" when it's not entirely applicable.

    Mehcad Brooks is a successful actor/model as well as Selita Ebanks.

    People who are familiar with them know that they clearly personify what may be considered "superficial" in real-world terms. So yes, being two attractive individuals at the top of their game is the "fantasy" of either gender.

    The fact that the couple in the commercial were black means that obviously the "idealistic" counter-part should be black as well. If they were white people in the commercial, perhaps Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, or other successful model/actresses.

    I think you have failed to identify who these people are, thus missing the point of the ad, which seems otherwise racist. It's really not in my opinion, as shown by the blatant success of the commercials.

    Additionally, if you look at the commercials for AllState, "Mayhem" is personified by a white male in a suit who takes on characteristics of other social groups or inanimate objects.

    The groups of people that he characterizes don't get offended by these commercials. Why? Because that would be clearly missing the point. You're entitled to your opinion, by all means...but I think you're really seeing the world through an ethnocentric point of view.

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  27. 1. You don't know what "Blatant" means.
    2. You don't know what "ethnocentric" means.
    3. The popularity of the commercials doesn't mean they aren't racist (that's just an odd twisting of logic.)
    4. "You're entitled to your opinion..." yes, I know. Thanks for the confirmation.

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  28. I suppose asking for a some-what intelligent response from you that supports your opinion was a little too much to ask. I understand. Best of luck with the whole racism thing. Hope that works out for you.

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  29. State Farm's commercials are just dumb in general. It's not very original and, the singing tune "like a good neighbor..." is just annoying, and it's not corny (and not even the funny kind of corny).

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  30. Wow, I thought for sure you'd be talking about the white girls who came back to a messed up car. An attractive black guy was their agent and one of the white girls made a nasty face and asked who that was. Then she demanded a "hot guy" as her wish. What kinda bullcrap was that?

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  31. LOL! You all need to CHILL. As a African American consumer, I do not find these characters offensive in the least. I "know" these people and known some REAL urban buffoons. The stereotypical and real examples can be found on a show such as "Martin" from the 90's: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_(TV_series). Want to see Anglo American buffoons, check out "My Name Is Earl" or "Married with Children." I've dated a woman much similar to the one in the commercial in question: Yes, she acted just the same, at times. You want REAL "ghetto fabulous," just watch Sheneneh Jenkins and all the rest in the "Martin" cast of characters! The woman in the commercial is "Lady Di" in comparison to a Sheneneh Jenkins! Believe me, if this commercial were racist, Al Sharpton would have been there faster than the State Farm agent showing up! It is amazing what you really don't know about urban life and seek to deconstruct. There are actually people that can embarrass me and uplift me on any day in any part of the USA. This commercial is but one of many versions in the life of a city and its people, whatever the ethnic group.

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  32. you guys are a bunch of idiots who totally break down these commercials into somthing they are not. its not racist in the least,and only nit wits like you would try to make people think it is. how many rich or poor white girls would think the black guys hot.everyone of them. how many rich or poor white men would think the black girls hot.everyone of them including myself.and im white. there is nothing racist about it and statefarm would probably consider you an idiot for breaking it down this much to make it sound racist. get a life man. its a COMMERCIAL and a pretty comical one at that. but its definately not the intent to be racist.

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  33. I gotta go ahead and agree with Daniel on both posts. He made good points and simply because you either realized you were wrong, or because you didn't have anything cleaver to say you simply cast off his views and acted like a child in your defense. What I've seen from reading the comments is that if someone didn't agree with you then you belittle them and their opinions. I don't feel the commercials are rascist and your point about how the black male wants a woman like that where as the white male wants the "girl next door", realize that there is a black male in that group as well that had the hots for the girl from the apartment so I feel overall that you are just reading too much into it and that you need to just let it go. Peace and God Bless, yall

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  34. lol the "black guy stereotype" that you pointed out is actually how Mehcad Brooks can be seen out and about. The girl looked like a model, not a hip-hop "black girl" stereotype. And I'm pretty sure the "white girl" is from a game or something. So you calling State Farm racist is hilarious.

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  35. I just think its funny. No matter the ethnicity of the characters. The could have been Asian, white, whatever & I would have still found it funny. Everyone knows a woman like that, no matter their race. My grandmother is like that & she is 100% polish. She just has a loud mouth. The fact that state farm changed the commercial makes the old one ten times funnier to me.

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  36. lol @ the comments talking about how they're not offended. you're black and not offended, therefore no one can be offended. and god forbid people call out stereotypes. this post you could have skipped.

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  37. Please read this WHOLE comment it gets better


    You are a fucking dumbass get a life and stop being so damn ignorant. Do you really think you complaining is good for America. It's good marketing, its funny of course its about stereotypes, but thats whats funny. I mean this in no racial manner but IM SURE plenty of African American people laughed at this commercial (ad) whatever get a damn life and stop finding stuff to rant about, the hot tub ad was funny too. If anything your racist for thinking its racist. I think State Farm should continue their brilliant marketing scheme. It's better than that crap about ask your neighbor. Bullshit! Comedy is what ALL American people like in their households. If getting the majority of America thinking an ad is funny, subsequently getting more people to sign up for State Farm takes making a joke about a stereotype then so be it.


    I do not mean to anger any races just my opinion
    Thank You

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  38. Half of State Farm's commercials contain magical negros educating cute blond girls while clumsy white idiots crash into trees and whatnot. Get real you clown.

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