Do you find this ad offensive?

As part of my contribution to fighting ignorance, I get the weekly updates. This week they had a link to an ad Intel had to pull because some people found it offensive.

I must admit, I was puzzled at first because I couldn’t see what was wrong about it. Track runners in an office getting ready to run a race = increased computer chip power…okay, I get it. It must have taken me a full 10-15 seconds before the light bulb went off.

I can now see why some people would find it offensive, but it didn’t strike me as so the first time I saw it.

How about you?

Yes, dear Og yes.

It’s easy for me to say, how could they not see that? But I clicked on your link while asking myself, what is offensive about this?

I would like to see the reaction of someone without the suggestion that it was offensive.

My first reaction was that those guys were going to run into each other and crack heads. Then I had to look to see if it was the same guy photoshopped in each cube. Once I read the snopes write up, I kinda saw where someone might be offended.

Of course, I tend to be dense about some things - I don’t assume the worst automatically…

That’s what I thought, that it was a very poorly-planned design for a race.

Ivylad didn’t even tumble to the “offensive” part until I explained it to him…he said the runners look like they’re ready to run, not bowing.

Had you not told me that there was something potentially offensive about the ad, I don’t think I would have seen it. I don’t entirely get the intended imagery, for that matter. Fast parallel processors turn your employees into sprinters?

Since you indicated people had found it offensive, I immediately recognized both possible interpretations, and kind of thought, “How could they miss that?” But really, if I were reading a magazine and saw this, I doubt I would think twice - having Intel in your machines is like having an office full of super sprinters, ready to take off running, end of story.

I think the funniest thing is that it’s arguable that the people making the ad missed the possible interpretation precisely because they are so devoid of racism, while the people who were offended probably think much more in terms of classifying people by race. So who’s more enlightened?

(Ya, I know the offended would say it’s not lack of racism, but lack of “racial sensitivity,” but really, aren’t they points on a continuum, and also dependent on cultural climate? Personally I’d love to live in a society where racial sensitivity was obsolete.)


GASP - I am offended that you jumped to the conclusion that these gentleman of color are crack heads! Racist! :wink:

I saw this immediately too. There’s no real problem with the basic idea for the ad, but the execution of the metaphor is an utter failure.

That’s very interesting. Certainly I was raised at a time where there were no Jim Crow laws, no separate bathrooms, and no pre-conceived notions of one color being better or worse than another. Is it possible our lack of exposure has put us in an enlightened state of ignorance, which in this case, is a good thing?

My thought was that they were going to run into each other, too. I had to read the write-up to discover the offence–really, though, someone should have caught that before it went out.

What I found more amusing was the link in the article to this ( “offensive” Starbucks poster. Talk about an overreaction!

I certainly agree with this part… Madison Avenue is paid a huge sum of money to do just that…make sure the ad has no “duo” meaning. Plus, I’m sure there is a team of highly-paid individuals at Intel that had to ok this ad as well. How could they miss that. As for damage control, it took me quite a while to even find a site that had a copy of the ad to view so Intel must have some far-reaching arms.

No, I don’t find the ad offensive. If it were intended offensive by Intel, I’d would find it in poor taste. Obviously it was not. Trying to give most of humanity the benefit of the doubt, I judge intentions way more than I do actions.

Like other posters have alluded to, I didn’t see six black guys bowing to a white guy. I saw some smug dork in the middle of 6 runners. I fully understood Intel’s intent (“look how fast our processors are!”).

<snerk> Good catch. Yes, I admit it, when I see gentlemen of color, I immediately assume they’re crack heads… :stuck_out_tongue: I should have said that they would “bonk skulls” - unless I’m missing another implication??

And that Starbucks ad? Oh yeah, that’s offensive… :rolleyes:

Darn, now I’m thirsty.

I immediately saw black men bowing down to a smug white man.

I don’t find it offensive as much as hilariously “what were they THINKING?” It’s up there with the classic “White is coming” playstation ad.

Oh, that’s just plain moronic!

I see it immediately, and doubt it is intentional. I work in an environment where part of my job is to teach people to pay attention to ways that their statements (or by extension, imagery) could say something different from what they think, so I’m primed to notice this sort of thing. As to the Starbucks ad, I think the image is too far away from the event people apparently thought it referenced.

I didn’t get it right away, the first thing I came up with was to ponder if the problem image was sexual (a bunch of guys bending over). The light bulb came on eventually, after about a minute. I agree with VC03 that the issue is “What were they THINKING?” Sure, it didn’t hit me right away, but the people that designed and approved this do it for a living.

Unauthorized Cinnamon, I see your point but I think there’s an additional factor. It’s great that the people who made this are devoid of racism, but I still fully expect adult Americans to have a functional awareness of the history of race as a social construct in this country and be able to anticipate when particular images have the potential to evoke unintended associations.

Originally posted by delphica:

Thank you delphica, until I reached your post I thought I was the only one with a sufficiently perverted imagination to wonder this. (I had some kind of Dilbert-mentality thing going about certain acts that employers might figuratively inflict on their employees.)

They’re sprinters? It wouldn’t have occurred to me. All I saw was subservience in an office environment.

The offense taken at the Starbucks ad seems bizarre until you read that it was generated just 6 months after 9/11. I agree with the Snopes article that the problem was with the word “collapse”.

My first reaction was “They’re going to run into each other!” too. In the back of my mind I recognized that the runners were all black and the dorky IT guy was white, but I didn’t think that was the reason for the outrage until I read the writeup.

It’s interesting that this whole thing would be a non-issue if they had just had the runners face front as opposed to “bowing to the white man.” Then they wouldn’t run into each other and they wouldn’t be bowing.