Believe it or not the politically correct stupidity has arrived to the Middle East.
According to several sources, the Gulf states are considering the idea of boycotting Nissan Motor due to an Israeli TV commercial that depicts Saudis angered by a fuel-efficient car. The commercial shows a group of Saudi oil barons leaving a hotel and encountering the new, fuel-efficient vehicle. One of them starts pounding and shouting to the car: "Hawks should peck at you day and night."
The voice over at the end says: "It's clear the oil companies won't like you."
The car, introduced on Wednesday, is set to go on the market in Japan and the United States in 2010, and globally by 2012 and was designed to provide more power than hybrid models, while having zero emissions.
But an official for the Arab Emirates voice their discomfort, accusing the ad of "igniting these [racist] instincts".
This is very similar to the whole thing between Peta and the pitbull ad. What do they want? The OPEC is not in its majority Irish or Australian. And while I imagine they could have used Cheney in the ad to imply "oil interests", I guess that would have been way more expensive and not so clear or funny. It is not an attack to anyone in particular, it is just a way of representing a joke.
But I guess the Middle East in general has lost its sense of humor a long time ago (shouldn't be considered as a great joke from God that he promised and gave them all the same piece of land as their sacred land? So many square feets of land out there but he promised to all of them the same little, tiny piece?)and the fact that the ad is israeli in origin probably made the whole thing worst.
One cannot help wondering: if they do boycott Nissan, doesn't it mean that the ad suddenly became true? What if they are using the whole "racism" thing as the excuse but the real reason behind it is the fact that the car goes against their interests? Interesting catch 22.
On a more serious note, I have to confess that I dread for the future of creative advertising. To make a point in such a short time stereotypes are necessary, as simple as that. If this trend continues, we will probably start seeing ads without people at all. In the best cases artistic ads, in the worst case just boring ones!
Via and Via