-UPDATED: June 30th, 12:50 AM Video added below.-
You would think that in this day and age, brands would be more careful about making fun of foreigner stereotypes in their marketing and advertising campaigns. But apparently, Japanese and international company Toshiba didn’t get the memo, as evidenced by their latest TV ad for a rice/bread maker that has been called “racist” by netizens.
The ad for “SuiDanPa”, the company’s newest rice maker that can also make bread, shows two business women talking about their love for bread and/or rice. They are the two featured characters in a series of spots for Toshiba, but this time around, one of the women dons a blond wig, wears a fake big nose and speaks in a heavy Japanese accent and with her words subtitled in katakana. This is the normal stereotype in Japan of what Westerners, particularly white people, look and talk like. And while some have said that the ad is trying to be ironic, maybe they should look up what the word actually means, because it seems to perpetuate and even exploit that particular stereotype.
While this is not the first time that something like this has been done to the gaijin (a term that has also now been deemed politically incorrect), or non-Japanese, it certainly seems short-sighted for a multi-national company like Toshiba. And aside from the fact that people are calling it racist, if you “analyzed” it, it is really a poorly conceptualized and executed ad, which is probably one of the reasons why it hasn’t been shown on TV as of now. It seems it has offended both foreigners and people with good taste, so Toshiba would be wise to take note.