5 – ‘Racial Advert’

I came across this advertisement a few years ago; it is originally from South African television (SABC or South Africa Broadcasting Corporation).It is in my opinion, by far one of the best advertisements out there. It’s not advertising a product or an event, but subverting stereotypes and perspectives in a clever way. Those of you who know your history will be aware of the Apartheid in South Africa; it was a time of great segregation and racial intolerance. This advert is set in the apartheid, only this time the power balance has been totally inverted.

The images aren’t violent or shocking, but they are still thought provoking; perhaps it is because of the use of a white protagonist living in a slum, who is looked down on when he is in the city. There is little dialogue during the advert (none is needed) as we face familiar images of racial stereotype (such as the woman locking the car when the man gets too close) with the reversed twist. The only dialogue is the ironic “you all look the same” at the end, which sums the piece up nicely.

This is how an advert should be, it delivers a powerful message quickly but thoroughly which you will not forget. That is why I have it in the cabinet. Watch it for yourself.


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