Did You Hear About The Uniball Commercial They Don't Want You To See?
Photo Credit: S & A

Did You Hear About The Uniball Commercial They Don't Want You To See?


So I’m sure you’ve heard about that notorious Mountain Dew commercial conceived by

someone I admit I had never heard of before, who goes by the moniker Tyler the Creator.

In case you haven’t seen the spot, which has been called “arguably

the most racist commercial in history,” it featured a bruised and battered

white woman trying to identify the black man in a police lineup, who assaulted (and

possibly raped) her. But a goat (HUH?) in the middle of the lineup, who is the actual

guilty culprit, whispers threats to the women to keep her mouth shut, until the frantic

women refuses to point him out and runs away terrified.

Exactly what that has to do with Mountain Dew, I have no

idea, but the outrage was immediate and swift, calling out PepsiCo (which makes Mountain Dew) and Mr. Creator for their offensiveness

and insensitivity.

Mr. Creator responded by basically saying it was all

meant in good fun, and, besides, everyone knows that he has a reputation for being

outrageous and controversial, so PepsiCo, fully well knew what they were getting into when they

signed him on to create a commercial for them.

Not surprisingly, PepsiCo pulled the Mountain Dew ad, but, on its heels, comes another TV commercial controversy – this time from Uniball.

The spot is one of three new ads for the writing pen, produced

by the South African branch of TBWA Worldwide, and directed and

photographed by South African TV commercial director Rob Malpage.

Once again, the outrage was immediate and swift, and Uniball

pulled the ad practially five minutes after it was released.

However, this being the age of the internet, you know you can’t

keep anything out of sight for long, as you can see in the actual ad below.

But this brings up the question, just what were they thinking?

Yes of course they want to stand out among the blur of

other TV commercials out there, and to do that, you have to be willing to be daring,

to be noticed and to take chances.

But you have to wonder in the case of the Mountain Dew ad

and the Uniball spot, wasn’t there anyone who, during the creation of the

spots, had second thoughts, and said: “Wait, maybe this isn’t such a good idea after all.

Then again, one could argue that they actually intended to

be controversial in the first place to get people upset and talking.

True, they had to remove the ads from circulation, but, like I said, they’re still there for anyone to find them. And, besides, it did

what it was supposed to do. To get people taking about the product.

So are they clueless, or are they shrewd?

Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

© 2022 Shadow & Act. All rights reserved.