In this series, I share my thoughts about why and how people of color are included in advertising aimed primarily at whites. See the first in the series here. In this, part two of the series, I offer examples of the inclusion of people of color in ads to invoke (literally) the idea of “color,” “flavor,” or “personality.” Consider:
This ad for Absolute Vodka Peach (“Find Your Flavor”) includes two white and two brown people, plus a set of silhouettes.
NEW (Sept. ’10)! Holly F. and Lafin T.J. sent in three Life cereal box cover. Notice that “regular” Life has white people on the cover, while cinnamon and maple and brown sugar flavors have people of color on their covers:
In this pro-diversity ad, the idea of “spice” is literally used to represent diversity (via MultiCultClassics). Just a bit misguided too: Just a teaspoon or less of color, please. We wouldn’t want the “spice” to overwhelm the dish.
This ad for Samba Colore by Swatch also uses a model of color:
“Welcome to the Color Factory.” These two ads for a color photo printer and a color printer cartridge both use models of color alongside white models in order to express how “colorful” their product is.
Bri a sent in these four images (three from Gap and one from United Colors of Benneton). Each Gap ad is advertising a different product, with an emphasis on how many colors they come in (bottom right corner). They all, also, feature models of color.
And, of course, the United Colors of Benneton is famous for its use of models of color in its ads, blending quite purposefully the idea of clothing colors and skin colors:
NEW! Joshua B. sent in this photo of two french fry holders, one with a black and one with a white woman, reading “never a dull moment, only tasty,” and “Is it wrong to think Arby’s all the time.” The black woman, then, is presented alongside the ideas of excitement and flavor:
This kind of advertising can easily be explained away as coincidence, but when you see it over and over again, such as in this Cystal Light ad campaign that repeatedly compares water to a “pale” white woman and crystal light to a “pumped” black woman and these ads for an Australian bread company that use Blackness to argue that their bread is not bland.
I think these two images, photographed at Office Max by Joshua B., also illustrate this idea. The white woman is “beautiful,” but the black woman has “personality”:
Please do send other examples in if you see them!
Don’t miss the first in the series: Including people of color so as to associate the product with the racial stereotype.