Why do you feel it’s not believable?
Perhaps “believable” isn’t exactly the right word. I was watching a rerun of Modern Family yesterday and one of the storylines was Phil, Gloria and Joe at an audition for a local commercial. The joke was that the casting directors went through a lot of trouble to put the “correct” combo of actors together to make it seem natural (ultimately rejecting Phil and Gloria). It’s been years since I was in advertising but that sort of thing did used to happen; that doesn’t seem to be the case these days except “make sure they’re of different ethnicities”.
I’m certain advertisers these days put a lot of thought into who appears in commercials, more than “make sure they’re of different ethnicities.” The rationale may not be obvious, but they have their reasons.
The big spike I noticed in terms of non-white faces in ads was in 2020 after the Black Lives Matter protests.
My wife and I have noticed this change in television commercials. We have only mentioned it to each other lest we be thought racist for noticing.
Also, Gay families, also racial-ambiguous people, also he lack of Black dialect, also the lack of deep-voiced Black men.
What annoys me is that it is almost always a black male with a fair-haired female; seems like whoever decided this is a good thing is aiming to increase the contrast to make it even more noticeable … definitely not a balanced message and certainly not one that reflects the interracial couples I know (white male / black female and white male / asian female).
There have been lots of non-whites on TV for quite a while now but this preponderance of interracial couples and queers is something I’ve only been seeing since the last election. I don’t need progressive moral lessons in my TV commercials to accept people for just being different from me.
So yeah, over the top it is.
Oh well, if you’re certain, that’s good enough for me.
You really think that’s why they’re doing it? To moralize?
Maybe you don’t quite understand the purpose of advertising and reaching the largest audiences.
Indeed. It is a pretty darned big deal to be able to see someone who is “like me” being depicted in media. When advertising (and media, in general) was almost entirely depicting white heterosexuals, a significant percentage of Americans weren’t being included in those depictions.
Being more inclusive of ethnicity, sexuality, and ability means that advertising is starting to reflect all of their audience, not just the straight white folks.
And, yes, sometimes it feels ham-handed (like the ads with a group of women, where there’ll be one black woman, one disabled woman, etc.), but I think, on the whole, it’s still far better than it was before.
Modnote: Your use of the word queer in this context is offensive to some.
It is worth noting the use of queer as a noun in particular and in a negative post can be offensive to many. Try to keep this in mind.
A production company figures out how to hit multiple demographics with one spot and they get accused of moralizing.
Regardless of intent, commercials are defining ‘normal’ for our future generations.
Uhhh … I had no idea. What should I do now?
Maybe us old people need an official list of banned words???
Does it matter if I am queer???
They aren’t making these changes to push a social agenda. Rather, the people they are targeting with the ad prefer to see ads presented this way and find them more appealing. Ads typically target people in the 18-35 demographic. The younger generation is much less concerned about rigid racial and sexual boundaries, and their relationships reflect that. The farther you are from that demographic, the less you will relate to the typical ad.
As much as “racist” seems like it would more appropriately only refer to people who believe in the inherent differences (and, often implicitly, the inherent superiority or inferiority of) what are actually socially constructed races with no real underlying basis, I think that ship has sailed already in common usage.
However, I still occasionally see pushback against using “racism” in an even broader context to describe ethnic bigotry that does not conform to what the speaker considers “races”, which seems sort of silly. The difference between racism and other types of ethnic discrimination are not worth quibbling about in my opinion, so I am fine with using either term interchangeably even when the “race” affected is, for instance, Jewish people.
Tell you what, lets take it here as someone started a thread on it:
Questions about moderation do not belong in the thread itself but in ATMB.
I’ve noticed the mixed-couples, it doesn’t ‘bother me’, but I am impressed how much and how fast this has happened. I sometimes wonder how they decide how to target people suffering from anxiety and depression (besides tired looking middle class white women). I notice also the Gerber baby now has what I assume is a ‘single mother’ and a lot more of gay women couples in commercials. I used to listen to talk radio years ago and one of them (maybe Sally Jessy Raphael) said something about how interesting so many of the callers were, so varied, ‘all part of the rich tapestry of life’..
I wonder if ESG criteria have anything to do with it.
ESG stands for environmental, social and corporate governance, in which “social” covers equal-opportunity employment; diversity, equity and inclusion; etc. In recent years, ESG compliance has become an important issue for many companies.
This. Ads are following the market, not leading the market. Having all-white commercials would be pushing a social agenda.
The other side of diverse casting in ads is that it’s building up a larger pool of non-white actors. Ads are the bottom-rung of professional acting and by employing a more diverse cast here, it’s giving more people a chance to make it big.