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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Race Depiction in TV Commercials: Myth v Reality

Lately yours truly has been venting locally and admittedly a bit incessantly to nearly every poor ear within earmark about television commercials..

Specifically the illusion of racial harmony and accepted multiculturalism in every single TV ad among a general population where it rarely exists in reality.

It is actually deeply lazy on the part of advertisers to depict every race, ethnicity, gender, age, weight and other physical classification in commercials within fractions of seconds when most actors are mere extras in the far background

Rather than target their ads to the proper demographics or actually try to persuade people to buy based on quality of product/service, instead the hope is if one sees their own kind for an eye-blink, those people will appreciate the 'shout out' and bond to the brand.
~ A still from 2012 Super Bowl ad for Acura..  It later came out that company only allowed black actors to try out for person to play the role of salesperson helping Jerry Seinfeld

We all know commercials are essentially BS.. they create false realities, and use emotion more than logic to try to sway people to part with their money to buy things that they really don't need and which often they can't afford.

But the push to have complete multicultural and multi-racial representation has crossed from the unrealistic to the downright offensive.

TV ads and the shows themselves always seem to portray blacks as judges, doctors, lawyers, bosses or others of high economic strata even though the reality is only 3% of the black population hold a Masters' degree and only 1% hold a Doctorate.
Commercials never show blacks with any financial difficulties..  At the very least they are portrayed in ads as living an upper-middle class lifestyle

This occurs even though according to the US Census Bureau 2012 report, 24.1% of black families with two parents live in poverty compared to 11.8% of other races and 41.2% of black families led by single mothers are currently living at or below the poverty line.

Commercials portray blacks always as well dressed and well fed even though 25% of the black population is receiving food stamps and 39.1% receiving Medicaid

In addition, the poverty rate for blacks have sharply increased since Bush left office, rising from 12% in 2008 to 16.1% in 2014. Median income also declined by 3.6% for white households to $58,000, but fell 10.9% to $33,500 for black households
~ Benetton is probably the most vile advertiser on the planet..  Luckily they don't advertise much in the US (BTW, they sell clothing) The following ad pics below should explain why they're so wretched..

Thus the average black household earns a little more than Half a white household..

And yet those insidious ads portray everyone as equal and in some cases the audacity to have blacks in commercials selling high-end items like BMWs and high-end jewelry.

Here's another lie that TV ads like to portray.. That blacks and whites are commonly socializing with each other and a large percentage of each race is friends with the other..
~ Don't think most Americans want to see or think of their President in this way..

That's why every time a group of friends is depicted, at least one is black..

But is this accurate in Real America?

Nope.. Of course not..

From Huffington Post 8/29/2014:

"A recent study conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute showed that 91% of the average white American's closest friends and family members are white, and just 1% are black. 
~ Gee, wonder what the apparel company is trying to push?

While black Americans tend to have a more diverse social network, they don’t fare much better. The average (black) has 83% black confidants (and only)  8% white confidants..

One of the most glaring statistics from the study showed that when asked to name their closest friends and family members, 75% of white Americans didn't name even one person who was not white."

And yet every single ad on TV will have people of different races hanging out and laughing with each other while sharing chicken nuggets (most recent McDonalds ad) or intimate kisses (the newest Levis ad)

Its deeply offensive.
~  Nothing and we do mean Nothing about an advertisement or print ad is accidental..  Sorry we made our audience feel queasy

The black population only represents 14% of the total US population yet represented in nearly 100% of all advertisements..   Why?!

It made absolutely no logical sense until the following stat explained it all..

According to BJK&E Media Group, the average number of hours of television watched per week in white households was 49.8 hours.

In black households: 73.1 hours.

That's 10.44 hours of TV per day!
~ Now why don't you see Madison Ave depict this reality?

The economy survives and thrives on illusion..  Every single aspect of it..

From the common person belief that the stock market is not continually rigged (which it is) to the assumption that money holds a value beyond the pretty pictures painted on paper bills and the digital numbers on a computer screen.

And on the most micro level, the illusion through television and specifically advertising that everyone is equal, doing well, has unlimited non-debt created spending power and as a society, everyone likes and respects and desires socializing with each other..
Why aren't these guys selling Tag Heuer watches and Mercedes?

And the truth is some groups are dramatically and disproportionately poorer than others..

And less educated..

And less law-abiding (24.8% of all blacks will be arrested at one point in their lives vs 2.8% whites)

And each race can barely tolerate or stomach each other on an interactive day to day level.

Now very few will start a raucous over it but when the workday is over, people today as generations before, congregate and socialize with their own..
~ "Mommy I love these Cheerios but I wish you were black like Daddy so I wouldn't get picked on in school by the black kids"

That is the reality of things.. the reality the advertisers Refuse to depict in their intrusive commercials..

But that's the simplicity of ads.. Everyone has a faux role..

Women smarter than men, blacks smarter than whites, children smarter than parents, heavy people can still be mocked when you need to depict people loudly complaining of heartburn or stomach problems, always use elderly ethnic stereotypes.

And everyone in TV land is happy while the real world trudges along..