Friday, May 27, 2011

Commercial Ethnic Stereotype… is it all in fun or taken too seriously?

by Astrid Beato

A stereotype is an over generalized belief about a particular group or class of people. For example, all black people are lazy, all white people are racists, all Italians are in the mob, all Hispanics are illegal aliens, etc. 
Commercials based on ethnic stereotypes should be a concerned because of the negative, offensive message that the commercials are representing or is it all just for fun and humor and shouldn't be taken personally? In today’s society we all know or should know at least that we shouldn’t judge or treat differently people of color or where they are from or what race or ethnicity anyone is, etc. Seeing the big picture there are racists, and discrimination does happen but not as frequently as before. Society is changing and so is how people think, so why can't some of us joke and laugh about funny ethnic jokes that are presented in commercials without being offended. For example here is a commercial aired at the Superbowl that people claim to be racist.

From my experiences there are days when I hangout with friends and we sometimes make fun of each others ethnic background based on typical stereotyping. For instances, Dominicans eat plantains everyday and raise farm animals and Mexicans only eat tacos and cleans people houses. Sometimes you can’t help yourself from laughing or giggling because sometimes the jokes are true, but not to an extent where “they” always do that or "that" always happens, but of course it all depends with who and how close you are with your friends to make racial jokes.
Racial stereotypes are even in places that people don't even notice that is happening. For example, in children’s movies racial stereotypes are not attended to offend any race. Here is a link where of this source. (might want to skip the first minute of the video.)

 Here is a video of contradicting stereotype. When people think of Scotland they think of white skin people with red hair, but in this video they are Asian descended but are from Scotland which in a stereotype world doesn't make sense.

In conclusion we shouldn’t take any of these commercials personally, in my opinion because it’s all in fun plus these commercials are clearly a little too exaggerated. Also stereotyping is everywhere and it is inevitable so might as well get a little chuck out of it, even if it’s your own race.


  1. By: Marnita Thomas

    I agree with you, when you say we shouldn't take everything so personally. Stereotyping is people making judgments about another group of people. Its not fair because everybody is not the same. Yet the judgment has come from somewhere, and sometimes sorry to say but it is true. Its our job as people to not be so closed minded and try to get to know people before you past judgment. Its okay to make jokes sometimes, just make sure you do it around people the right people, to avoid getting punched in the head:). oh, and I enjoyed the Power Ranger bit. I grew up when the Power Rangers were hot. My friends and I would always say, why the black ranger got to be black, the Indian red, and the yellow ranger Asian?. That wasn't right that was a "smh" (shaking my head)moment.

  2. I disagree with the idea that these commercials are just to be laughed at. It is true that some of these commercials contain humor. However, it is just another way to make racism a part of every dy life. Here, you present it as something that we should accept as a part of every day life. While we may laugh at these things, there are people who internalize these commercials for better or worse. These commercials are based off of racist assumptions. That's never acceptable.

  3. The point you have about looking others regardless of their race or ethnicity is absolutely correct. Here I would like to say that things matter only when it takes so deep or personal. Dividing people by stereotyping is a part of our society and coming for long time. It is really difficult to change or at least avoid it because there always can be a group of people who want or like to keep people engage in the discussion of their position according to the social settings. The only way out of this is just give a glance on and ignore them. Your lack of interest would discourage them from similar actions in future and definitely no more controversial ads.

  4. Monique BrockingtonJune 2, 2011 at 11:37 PM

    I agree & disagree with this post for different reasons. I think that some commercials use humor in a good way to sell and advertise their products, but when stereotypes of someone's culture or ethnicity is being used to sell a product is just plain ignorance on behalf of its advertisers & may ruffle a few feathers. Whether people agree or not our society has created stereotypes and often times advertisers may play on those roles to make their ads relatable. For those who view or place themselves into the stereotypical categories of the ads, may not always see the humor in those type of ads versus someone who doesn't fit the description of the stereotypes.

  5. I agree with your opinion that we should not take anything seriously. All the media that you have posted are interesting, especially the one that Grace Choi and Huong Nguyen have created. I never thought that all those movies or TV shows are meant to stereotyping people. For me it is just a movie or and advertisements, nothing else. They are really creative! However, each individual has his or her own opinion about something and no one can control what one should think. We just have to loosen up a little bit and try not to stereotyping people that much.

  6. I agree with you that we shouldn't take commercial stereotype too serious. Although, they are hurtful sometime, but Just don't let it gets under your skin. The media is known for making stereotypes about peoples. Stereotype's like a stop sign you pass everyday and there are never any cops there and no traffic. You eventually don't bother stopping anymore. Same deal with most stereotypes, it's a mental shortcut to save time and nothing more. Like if you met people from my area you would make alot of assumptions about me based on logical inference. They may not be true but I ain't gonna hold it against you, so take it easy!

  7. Marceline A Bien-AimeJune 7, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    I agree with you, personally when I saw that pepsi commercial I was dying with laughter. I didn't laugh because of the ethnicities I was laughing at the situation that happened. When she got hit with the pepsi can it was unexpected, we should all know it wasn't intentional so I don't understand why people would be so upset about it. The media portrays a lot of stereotypes however we have the choice to ignore them or take them seriously.

  8. I agree with the points you made here, also remember though that stereotypes in the media are generally used to reach a target audience that can identify with the commercial or show. In old TV, racism was way more prevelant as a tool used to raze or make fun of, but now its used in a constructive, non-detrimental way. Good use of the media, it really got the point across.