December 25, 2000
4:12 PM   Subscribe

AdCritic has finally posted my favorite commercials: a series of ads for the Fox Regional Sports Report. They present intriguing new sports from around the world. Areas covered include China, India, Russia, South Africa, and Turkey.
posted by Aaaugh! (11 comments total)
yeah, am i the only one who finds these ads racist & offensive?
posted by palegirl at 6:15 PM on December 25, 2000

Nope, you're not the only one.

For those who are neither avid tv-watchers nor broadband-blessed, they are ads depicting fictional sports coverage from other countries. The sports are inane and stupid, but the ads give the impression that these sorts of things are what people do for fun in these countries. The idea is that Fox will only show you sports news from your region.

I don't doubt that some people will even believe that these fictional sports are real. These ads will no doubt reinforce peoples' stereotypes.
posted by whatnotever at 6:29 PM on December 25, 2000

The sport shown in the Indian ad is not really a sport, it's Pahlwaans (Body builders/wrestlers) with their weight lifting clubs, they use those clubs to excercise.

The commentry is by a person living outside India, as the Hindi has an Non resident Indian accent to it.

I thought it was a funny sort of funny.
posted by riffola at 6:42 PM on December 25, 2000

oops I wanted to type out...

I thought it was sort of funny.
posted by riffola at 6:43 PM on December 25, 2000

Racist? Anyone who is finding these ads racist is far too conditioned into a society of Political Correctness. If you find this racist, then you must find Michael Moore's French-hating comments racist as well. Or is it all right because he isn't part of "the man"? I thought the ads conveyed what they were trying to convey very well.

On an aside, my favorite ad is also shown primarily on Fox Sports World. It's for Adidas and begins "The Year 2046". It's some "realistic futurism" in the entire set design, and shows an unnamed player scoring the winning goal in what would seem to be the World Cup. When he scored, everyone in the bar is celebrating and kissing his jersey, as "Will that Player be you?" pops onto the screen. There's a whole series of these (another has an unnamed player giving a retirement speech and showing people such as a service station attendant with tears in eyes). Very inspiring.

posted by Kevs at 8:13 PM on December 25, 2000

I wouldn't say it's offensive so much as ignorant... Clearly, the marketing agency's goal was to ellicit a cheap laugh by showing ethnic people competing in various "sports" that are supposed to be representative of their respective countries. I guess to the average WASP who didn't know any better, they'd probably find it funny.

I'm Chinese and I really don't know of any log-catching competitions in China. As far as I know, not even your average Shaolin monk is hardcore enough to pull a stunt like that. I could be wrong though.
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 3:07 AM on December 26, 2000

Count me among the ignorant racists who laughed at these, especially the Chinese tree catcher. But I don't think any of them is as baffling as these two real ads for a Japanese construction company.
posted by rcade at 5:36 AM on December 26, 2000

I admit that these commercials don't seem to have much to do with construction, but they aren't terribly baffling if you know a bit about Japanese folklore. The racoon with the humongous cajones is Tanuki; his giant testicles are a representation of fertility and good fortune.
posted by MrBaliHai at 8:25 AM on December 26, 2000


People, did you leave your senses of humor in your other pants? Humor is *always* at someone's expense. Write that down. Read it a lot. Maybe it will sink in.

*Always*. Greater or lesser, bigger or smaller groups. Always.

If it didn't strike you as funny or suit your tastes, great. But a lot of you seem to be falling prey, lately, to the "*I* didn't like it, therefore it's wrong" school of thought... This Is Bad.
posted by baylink at 8:28 AM on December 26, 2000

It's not that humour at someone else's expense is necessarily wrong, it's the fact that this humour is based solely on nasty and false stereotypes of other cultures. It's the visual equivalent of jokes about the intelligence of Polish people. It's funny at first blush, but when youexamine the series, it's nothing more than ugly insults being used to schlock sports coverage.
posted by Dreama at 2:37 PM on December 26, 2000

Except that one would have to be extremely stupid to believe the bizarre things you see in these ads are actual sports.

Really people, there's no reason to spend your time going around looking for things to be offended by. These are jokes, and they're too far out there for anyone to take seriously. I know I didn't come away from this ad campaign believing that Russians hold face-slapping competitions.
posted by aaron at 4:27 PM on December 26, 2000

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