Saturday, June 14, 2008

More Flags, More Fun, You Die!

I don't know about you, but there's something about the latest Six Flags ad campaign that scares me. First off, I'm a little unnerved by this guy's disembodied head screaming at us on the TV screen. (And for me, at least, there's something about disembodied floating heads in advertising that is inherently unsettling.)

But perhaps what is even more disturbing are the potential cultural messages underlying this advertisement. Is it just me, or might there be a bit of racism embedded in these Six Flags commercials? Judge for yourself. Here are a couple of recent Six Flag commercials I found on YouTube:

There's just something wrong here. The monosyllabic loud utterances (as if it were Tourette syndrome), the lack of verbal agility, and the frighteningly simplistic look on this guy's face just send the wrong message. Might we have here the inkling of a stereotype? It's almost as if I expect this dude to yell "You die, Joe!" at any minute. Why, in a commercial like this, use an Asian face to yell this stuff? This is not really a matter of political correctness; it's one of stupidity.

Of course, it's not as if Six Flags doesn't have a history of using certain social communities in a "funny" way to sell their product. Remember the old guy from their commercials a few years ago?

The aged, Asian Americans....I can't wait to see who Six Flags showcases next year! Perhaps the homeless?

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