October 27

Racist Alcohol Ads

Justice Victoria Frederick

It’s no secret that America’s foundation was built on part racism, as a way of showcasing one race being the superior race over every other minority. As much as people try to “make light” of the situation and this nation’s politics, some refuse to let up on laughing around the problems that have been ignored for centuries.

In the most recent news, Heineken has found itself under some heat with their most recent commercial for their new Heineken Light. The video, which has since been deleted, shows a fair-skinned bartender sliding a drink across the table to a lady of his same complexion, which, “coincidently”, passes up 3 darker-skin toned people. The commercial ends with the caption: “Sometimes lighter is better.” Many took to social media to express their outrage, but quite frankly, is it any shock? Sure, society comments, the corporation responsible takes it down and promises to do better, but it is a routine seen over and over again. Why? Well, no one had a better claim than Chance the Rapper himself, who commented on the Heineken Light ad when he called out advertisement companies on coming up with ads that would, sure enough, get attention. These companies that put out the magazine editorials and TV special commercials believe in the art of publicity, whether it is good or bad.

Throughout the last two centuries, anything that sounded even the least bit taboo was sure to get attention from the public eye. About 4 years ago, a company involved with E-cigarettes was put on blast for the photo indication that an interracial relationship would be seen as taboo, as well as ageism being involved. Another ad, which had involving Heavyweight boxer Floyd Mayweather, took even more heat as the caption read: “Always bet on black; We’ve paid out early on a Mayweather Victory Because we checked and only one of them is a boxer.”

There is not much to say regarding if any of these ads had yet improved the sales of the product they were selling, but it does not sound like a bad marketing strategy when you first pitch it in the room, to publish something off the rails or something to throw consumers off so much that they show interest. Although, companies like Heineken, and Dove, and Shea Moisture and H & M, have yet to conclude that idea with success to consumers, and they will keep failing if they do not find a more effective way to do it.