Sunday, December 23, 2007

FedEx-plain Yourself

Let’s take a look at this new FedEx Commercial shall we?

What’s could possibly be wrong here?

1) Indians don’t ride flying carpets. That is a racist stereotype. Though to some this may be a much more palatable explanation for the presence of Indian communities around the world (as opposed to colonialism and indentured labor).

2) FedEx is claiming that Indians are so incompetent that they, in fact, need to import their racist stereotypes from abroad.

3) Is this even an Indian stereotype? Isn’t it a Persian and Arab stereotype? A clue being the flying carpet's prominence in the children’s book Arabian Nights. Hmm…but we all do look a like over there, I suppose, so why wouldn't our cultures and stereotypes be the same. I'm constantly calling Italians "kraut-heads" and telling Greeks to stop drinking so much Guinness.

To those of you who think I’m being too sensitive or politically correct…SHUT THE FUCK UP! I am so sick of your illogical replies. I presented you with an argument and you reply with SHIT. The claim of political correctness is not an all-encompassing answer. (I will present more of my thoughts on political correctness another time.)

Why did FedEx think this was ok? Did they simply ask an Indian dude around the office what he thought about it?

FedEx Ad Rep: So tell me what you think of our new ad. Honestly.

(Plays commercial)

Indian Dude: (Laughs nervously)

FedEx Ad Rep: Are you laughing because you think it’s funny or because you’re worried that we’ll fire you if you don’t laugh.

Indian Dude: (Laughs nervously again)

FedEx Ad Rep: Seriously, do you like the commercial or are you responding this way because you feel pressured to like it because if you said the ad was inaccurate and potentially racist you would be accused of being overly sensitive and this could imply that you and your family have not completely assimilated into American life.

Indian Dude: Uhh…I…like it, I guess.

FedEx Ad Rep: Ok good, we’re going with it. Can we run an idea by you?

Indian Dude: (sighs) Umm…sure.

FedEx Ad Rep: I was thinking that we should change the ad to say that the flying carpets are selling “like curry” instead of "like hotcakes" since hotcakes are not popular in India.

Indian Dude: I think roti, chapathi or dosa would be more appropriate since they're more similar to hotcakes than curry.

FedEx Ad Rep: Nobody in America will know what those are.

Indian guy: Oh, ok.

FedEx Ad Rep: You know what, maybe we’ll just keep it the way it is. I’m glad we had this conversation. It’s all part of the creative process.

Here’s a potential response to a claim of racism:

FedEx PR Rep: No, you see, we’re not claiming that Indians have historically ridden flying carpets. We’re actually saying the opposite. We’re saying that in a world where flying carpets exist they would get popular everywhere...quite possibly in India since it is an emerging superpower and its growing middle-class would love to get their hands on such technology. If this was the case, we are confident FedEx would be able to get these flying carpets there better than any of our competitors. Hell, my great grandfather was half-Irish and I would be honored if this commercial said Ireland. But that’s just how the ball bounced. We love Indians. We love Americans. We love Indian-Americans. God or Science Bless Everyone. UPS Sucks.

Your welcome, FedEx.


Blogger OyeRaju said...

"Though to some this may be a much more palatable explanation for the presence of Indian communities around the world as opposed to colonialism and indentured labor"

Haha- Awesome line! I love your blog entries :)

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kudos to you for actually commenting on the lame-ass commercial. I wrote an email to FedEx telling them I was extremely disappointed with their commercial and that it was racist. Didn't hear back from them.

2:54 PM  

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