If only the Mentos guy would do hook-hanging instead...

Am I the only one bothered by the new Mentos commercial set in India?



No, not evidently.

There are two kinds of racial ads; one that uses sterotypes to produce comical one-liners, the other is the one that uses sterotypes to poke fun at the entire race.

An example of the former is the guy with white overalls of South Asian descent in the Geico direct ads. He holds up a test tube of orange water; when asked why people are switching to Geico, he replies “I think people just want to save money”. And then he blinks when the “smart” salesman asks him “Isnt the water supposed to be clear?”

The menthos is ad is plain offensive. Goddamnit! I have had it people who think the entire subcontinent is filled with sadhus who are either snake charmers or who walk over fire or who pull a chariot with a wire tied to thier skin, etc…

when did your mind stop growing??

For those of us who rarely get to a television, could you please enlighten us as to what happens in the commercial, if it is possible?


I must be missing something. First off on my television the water looks a bit more red then orange. Second how is it making fun of an entire race? Unless it has something to do with agent orange.

Or a bunch of people who have a festival every year to bathe in a nasty river.


Commercials are designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Thanks to Bugs Bunny (among many other statuesque cultural influences), people now associate fire-walking with India. Ergo, the commercial takes advantage of that.

How is this any more offensive than a commercial depicting a guy with a surfboard saying “Du-u-u-u-ude…”? Are you suggesting that there have never been any instances of “firewalking” in India?

I’m confused; maybe you could clarify for me. What does his South Asian descent have to do with it? I’ve seen the ad many times; his ethnicity isn’t mentioned at all, and I can’t see how the ad is actually making fun of Indians in any way. Is it just that because the character is portrayed as being slightly incompetant (in a comical way) also happens to be Indian? What if a German had been in the role? Could Germans justifiably be outraged that a German would be portrayed so shamelessly? Of course not.

It’s overreactions like yours in this instance that have given negative connotations to the phrase “politically correct.”

I dunno, Ben. I’ve ** been to India** and the place is a chaotic mess. There are sadhus, beggars, conmen, sidewalk vendors, and animals clogging traffic, at least in the cities like Varanasi, Agra, Calcutta, and New Delhi. I saw guys washing themselves from public spigots, I saw pigs rooting around fruit stands and monkeys trooping along the roofs. I was constantly harrassed by beggars and there was one guy selling wooden chess sets in Connaught Place in Delhi who would not leave me alone! In the countryside, like in Sanchi and Khajurao, there was conversely a lot more cleanliness and order.

I didn’t see any stereotyping in the commercial at all.

I haven’t seen the Mentos ad set in India yet, but I am bothered by every Mentos ad.

I am sorry I lost it there. I just dont have the energy to go thru a full-fledged BBQ thread. Probably some other time.

Sorry about that.
Ben, its your thread now…

I agree, I think they’re all stupid. But what exactly is going on? You hear the song: “…full of life, yadda, yadda, yadda”, then this lightly accented voice says, in English, “Mentos! The Freshmaker”. Sounds like the speaker is Dutch or possibly German. Is this the commercial that people see in Europe, based on the assumption that most of the target audience knows enough English to understand the song and slogan?

How can you tell his overalls are of South Asian descent?

It’s tattooed on the back of the neck.