Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Are You Outraged?

On the way to the office this morning I was taken aback by the tag-line on a billboard aiming at selling unrefined sugar. "Unrefined for the refined" sounds catchy enough but is a woman with Western features that critical to the marketing of the product? I thought Mauritians were increasingly emancipated from the ethnic determinism rooted by colonialism. Maybe I am wrong. The advertising agency may be smarter and certainly more cynical. Isn't it supposed to sell a dream in the first place? Do you have reservations in terms of product identification and commercial appeal? Anyway, the process of Mauritius-building looks very tedious.

9 comments:

Bruno said...

No I'm not outraged ... I simply dont care about petty issues like this ... I am not haunted by the past: What white people did my slave ancestors ... blah blah ... it was long ago. The only things I can do is: 1 remember them and 2 work hard so that my standard of living is better than them (my ancestors i.e.).

I moved on and I suggest you do the same. (Reminiscing the past leads to depression :P)

Samad Ramoly said...

Thank you for your comment Bruno. Are you suggesting that Truth Commissions, for instance, set up around the world are "petty" and their proponents are going bonkers? Robben Island must be a psychiatric hospital then!

Bruno said...

No ... the truth commissions have their pertinence when effects of injustice can be repaired. However, the sooner we get along and forgive, the better for us.

Btw could you please tell me whether the MBL (Mauritius Blog List) helped to increase your traffic?

morinn said...

I'm not outraged. I'm sometimes just annoyed by the lack of subtlety that some advertising agencies show when coming up with an advert. They fail to neglect a slightly important point: that the product is aimed at the Mauritian public in general.

Anonymous said...

It is indeed challenging to be a post-colonial non-white subject. I understand the pragmatism of those who choose to live with an alien identity even if it means existing as an in-between neither here nor there. Yes discriminatory biases must be fought everywhere, anytime.

I wished there were more Kozelidir in Mauritius.

An Anglo-Mauritian

Samad Ramoly said...

Morinn, it does indeed boil down to "that the product is aimed at the Mauritian public in general". I was just trying to decipher the background.

Ashfaq said...

Going with your line of thought, should the publicity and billboard of products used by a majority of asian and africans use only asians and africans for their promotion ??
Should white people be used in promotion of goods that target white people mostly ?
This is even more outrageous.

Yashi said...

I guess it's all about what can catch the eye. I don't know why a woman with Western features would be more eye-catching than a woman of asian or african origin. Maybe it's the lure of the unattainable as it's pretty rare to see Mauritians of Asian and African roots hooking up with women with Caucasian attributes.

But we don't do particularly good adverts in Mauritius so I will put this down as a lack of effort and, consequently, lack of quality.

There are so many creative Mauritians out there but I wonder how the uninspiring ones get into advertising!

Samad Ramoly said...

Thank you for input Yashi which tells a lot about your hindsight and discernment. Selling through "the lure of the unattainable", or "dream" as I put", is fair but I find it hard to take when the lure feeds on deep-seated prejudices. I invite you to read Edward Said's "Orientalism" by or Ashis Nandy if you have not read them yet.