David Giantasio questioned on Adfreak, why, after becoming an ex-smoker, the “hero” of the ad (from Amercian Legacy, the NATC, the Ad Council and GSD&M Idea City) didn’t shoot higher than bowling (above) or operating a fork-lift.
As an ex-smoker (June 24, 1986, but who’s keeping track?) the week you quit smoking really is not the time to take on a lot of new things while you’re still in the throws of withdrawal. So that part I get.
But, more importantly, did you notice that the ex-smoker was white, and all of his friends were people of color? Reminds me a little of a Chris Rock concert on HBO where he pointed out how different things were nowadays…he had so many white friends, and his white friends had…one black friend.”
So this “opposite” grouping is notable to me because we form unconscious bias from (among other things) images we see in media, and particularly marketing. I think of ads that I saw growing up in the 60’s and 70’s (thanks to Mr. Classics on YouTube who seems to have captured a lot of them) that featured predominantly white actors, and certainly the voice overs or jingles were a very ‘apple pie’ genre. Marsha Brady was the girl to aspire to be, and Marcus Welby, MD, was the voice of authority.
But think of what kids are growing up with today. There are interracial couples (not enough that I could actually find good examples on You Tube, other than this Old Navy clip from 2008) and families of all backgrounds. I even…gasp…saw a Volkswagan Sign then Drive ad in January featuring …a woman car salesperson!
We can change unconscious connections and biases by making new ones, so the images kids see today are already forming their future associations.
What’s good, and what’s bad? What are changes you’ve seen in advertising over the years that are helping? What’s hurting?