Thursday, October 14, 2010

iTunes old ads

I'm not sure about you guys but the first time I saw the difference I actually laughed out loud!

And contrast that with this:

If you've noticed it's pretty reminiscent of one of our first classes when Prof Rodriguez showed us the youtube advertisment of how Latinos are excessively vibrant and expressive, and the apple marketing strategy here reflects little difference. But on second glimpse there is actually more than just the mindless waving of arms and strange wide/weird angled steps that the stickmen/women are making - it's the camera angles too. The Latin version of the iTunes ad has much more dynamic movements in the spectator view that makes it look like you're actually bobbing and shaking your head while listening to the music and watching the ad. This tells you that the apple marketers are not just expecting young Latinos susceptible to pop culture suggestions to merely see the iPod as a popular gadget and thus a must-have, but to actually jump into it and dance on the streets, while cranking up their earphones - i.e. that is to say that the advertising here is targeting different emotional reactions from different consumer groups (although the outcome is still the same - to buy the product).

Now one may argue that as a demographic the Latin Americans are economically less privileged compared to European Americans (as evidenced by poverty studies we've gone through earlier in class), and thus the greater need to engage them emotionally in order to trigger a purchase.. yet the iTunes advertisement for Rap and Dance music (something that's more associated with African Americans than European or Latin Americans) is actually pretty similar to the original version. It is not as emotionally stimulating or engaging. So this leaves us with the realization that even top level marketing experts and popular culture analyzers in Apple also fall prey to the stereotype that Latin Americans are emotionally and expressionally excessive as an entire race, so why is it that we as a class have moved on from that expectation? I think it's mostly because we've actually given the authenticity of the stereotype some thought and realized there's only so many grains of truth in the stereotypes. But this also means that most lay poeple are not far from this realization either, and pop culture can just as easily correct the stereotype that Latin American culture (or at least Latin American music in iTunes) are mostly about being excessive.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post! I remember watching these adds and especially enjoying the ones with Latin music and dancing. When I was watching them initially I didn’t really notice any difference when it came to racial stereotypes, but now that I watch them again it is really noticeable. My favorite iPod commercial that I‘ve seen features the song “Mi Swing es Tropical” and really expresses the ‘excessive’ nature of Latin@ people. The commercial itself features Latin dances like the Salsa, but there were Caribbean styles as well, possibly Cuban. I also noticed the colors used in this add, which are much more vibrant than many I’ve seen. I went on to buy the song form the commercial off of iTunes because it did really make me want to dance and I listen to it regularly now. From now on I will pay more attention to commercials and how they portray specific racial groups.