Back in 2011, an award winning South African ad firm got into some hot water for a Chinese restaurant campaign that critics said was racist. Was it racist? Or a wonderfully clever idea? You decide.
Even though there are plenty of active ad campaigns to enjoy, I love searching back through old ad campaigns from time to time. This week I came across a classic “fail” that’s visual impact is inescapable.
Remember the classic Vapor’s song “Turning Japanese?” Well, a South African ad firm created a branding campaign that turned you Chinese. Not everyone liked it.
This from The National UAE:
The advert for China Times, which has branches in Deira City Centre and Jumeirah Plaza, features photographs of three men – a Sikh, an Arab and a black man – whose eyes have been digitally altered to look Chinese, with the slogan “Brings out the Chinese in everyone”.
Created in 2009 by an agency in Dubai, the advertisement was approved by the restaurant but never used. It was also entered in an advertising industry competition in Dubai.