Thursday, May 17, 2012

SPF: Strange (Poisonous) Fruit.... after Billy Holiday

Well, the ad is not used to its full potential, there are other ways of pointing out the racism issue. I give an example, when one of my students wanted to tackle the subject head on, we did a tv script for a washing powder which featured their Arabic-speaking Ethiopian maid. The rationale was simple, the washing powder ads are addressed to the "lady of the house", the one who washes, cleans, does the laundry, and picks children for the school bus - it has ceased to be the wife, now the maid does all of this. We even loaded the copywriting with some very racist terms such as "hal mas7ou2 bi bayyedle wejje" (this powder makes my head white - a local expression that means "makes me proud").

This being said, I don't think it is "mediocre" though as Mustapha from Beirut Spring judged it, after all if it got us talking about it (for the right or wrong reasons) then the message must have gone across. In addition we call know that a horse designed by a committee is a camel, so consider that - for an ad from a ministry - this is not bad at all!...
Update: It has been brought to my attention that the video above has become private, lucky Mustapha from Beirut Spring has already posted a description of it: “An attractive white girl in a bikini saunters out of a swimming pool and seductively applies sun oil as she lounges. The lifeguard keeps staring and smiling at her, but when she gets a bit too tanned and turns into some horrible black creature, the lifeguard suddenly changes tack: He turns stern, prevents her from swimming and forces her to don a domestic worker’s uniform.”

And even made a still from it:

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