A Most Annoying Commercial

A Most Annoying Commercial

Peter Bradley

Subscribe to future audio versions of AmRen articles here.For several years now, blacks have been vastly overrepresented on television commercials. A recent report found they were in over 50 percent of commercials, though it certainly seems much higher than that. Of course, white actors can still find work by being cast as the buffoon, criminal, ignoramus, harasser, or the sexual partner of a black. But a recent commercial for Jim Beam takes the overrepresentation and adoration of blacks to another, even more ridiculous level.

The Kentucky-based bourbon producer portrays a group of about 30-40 people in a typical neighborhood bar setting. This pub is at least half black however, with a sprinkling of Asians, Hispanics and even a few white people. As someone who has hung out in pubs, they tend to attract mercifully few blacks. In addition, bourbon drinkers are seldom black. Indeed, the whole whiskey craze seems to be driven by what used to be known as “Stuff White People Like” types. These typically upper-middle class white people also like to obsess about craft beers, ethnic restaurants, herbal teas and exotic types of coffee.

While the scene itself is unlikely, what they are doing in the bar is even more unthinkable. The multiracial throng is gaily singing in unison — some with arms thrown around each other — to “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond. The ballad reached number four on the Billboard charts in August 1969 but has remained a mainstay on oldies stations and as a sing-along at some sporting events.

Would black people — much less the 30-something blacks in the commercial — even know who Neil Diamond is, much less be singing along to one of his songs released 54 years ago? Did the black actors even know the tune when they showed up to the casting call for the commercial? While I am not much of a fan of the soft-rock troubadour, it seems Mr. Diamond’s concert audiences were (he is now retired) nearly all-white.

The crescendo portrays a light-skinned black woman entering the establishment with a slightly apprehensive look on her face. Her fears are soon allayed, however, as she sees the jolliment at hand and breaks into a wide smile. “People Are Good For You” is the message that flashes on the screen.

Why even try to portray such a contrived scene in a commercial? How does it help sell more bourbon? My guess is that it is targeted to whites who want to be seen as an accepted part of a multiracial crowd, even if their local bar looks nothing like the demographics of the Jim Beam ad. In any event, the YouTube comments on the ad show people of all races are having none of it. The following are just a few samples:

“I have never seen a person not of Caucasian Persuasion know Sweet Caroline, let alone sing it proudly in public. NEVER. That’s an automatic termination of your hood pass.”

“Stupid commercial. Very unrealistic.”

“I came here after seeing your commercial on Hulu just to say what I nightmare this bar would be. You accurately displayed purgatory.”

“Because all random strangers will smile big and sing with you. Ok.”

“The most annoying ad on TV, congrats.”

“This is my idea of hell.”

Perhaps people are slowly waking up?

Original Article


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