Tag Archives: racism

Covert Racism

8 Nov


Victory is mine! Or probably actually someone else’s…

5 Mar

I poked fun at Mainstay Cane Spirit the other day for their unintentionally-borderline-racist TV ad. That vitriolic little post is here. To their credit, they have entirely recut the ad to remove all potential for unkindly casting the ad as racist. The line about all citizens of the new republic being bronze skinned is gone. The involvement of other race groups only in service delivery has been nicely cut away, and what’s left is a tighter, punchier, inoffensive ad. Kudos chaps!

It’s almost as if they read my criticisms… But that would mean one of my ten or so readers would have to be a Mainstay guy, so I’m going with coincidence.

Mainstay Ad’s Iffy Racial Comment

14 Jan

Mainstay Cane Spirits has not made a new TV ad in twenty years, but their new ad has been worth the wait, from an Ungenius perspective. It certainly seems to reflect attitudes from twenty years ago.

This link doesn't work anymore. Sorry!

Their new ad conceives Mainstay drinkers as belonging to their own republic, and it then spells out some of the characteristics of this new island nation. About half way through the ad, the narrator proudly says:

“Here, every single body is one colour… Bronze!”


Mainstay is white spirits.

So not black people then? I was going to point out that the ad does have a multi-racial cast, and so racism is not a fair charge, but upon watching it again, I notice that the token black guy is the pilot, and they wave him goodbye. At least they didn’t take him with to be the waiter, I guess.

So what do we have in this ad:

  1. The desire to form an exclusive republic.
  2. One of the entrance criteria is the ability to tan bronze.
  3. Characters use people of other races to provide essential services.
  4. Once the destination is reached, the homogenous race group waves black people goodbye.

And Mainstay’s final message to a previously white-oppressed country? ‘You can stay as you are for the rest of your life, or you can change to Mainstay!’ Presumably they mean, ‘or you can change back to how you used to be’.


Edit (2012): Mainstay produced another version of this ad that takes into account all of my comments. Coincidence? Or do I have… readers?

And shouldn’t I get some sort of consultancy fee? This criticism ain’t free you know!