Two Shades of Advertising
Day 324 – June 10, 2012
This post was originally going to be about the mime.
This post was originally going to be about why the mime is in this billboard for a brand of beer.
This post was originally going to be an explanation from my Spanish teacher as to why the mime is in this advertisement. This billboard for Cristal beer has the tagline – to the effect of – that when the national futbol team of Peru plays, all Peruvians play. In that vein, the quarter of figures to the side of the futbol player all represent various aspects of the Peruvian character.
This post was originally going to be about how the construction worker, the baker, and the woman with the cactus all represent the hard-working nature of Peruvian society.
This post was originally going to be about how the mime – as explained by my Spanish teacher – represents the artistic side of Peruvians. With all the art studios, theaters, and music that reside in Lima (and especially the artist enclave of Barranco) it should come as no shock that creativity resides in the Peruvian soul. While a paint-splattered artist or guitar-wielding musician could have been used to represent the artistic side, my Spanish teacher told me that the mime is known throughout Peru and so makes an appropriate symbol for the arts.
This post was originally going to end with the astute observation that while all the baker is holding a round loaf of bread, and the gardener is holding a round plant – all things to emulate the soccer ball the player is holding – the mime is actually pantomiming a ball.
But then, things changed. (And from this point on, I invoke Disclaimer No.1.)
I saw this advertisement on a Sunday while on our walk down the street that our city closes so that pedestrians and cyclists can enjoy some exercise with having to dodge cars.
I saw this advertisement and though I have been in Lima now for nearly a year, something about this quintet of persons seemed new and unique to my eyes.
I saw this advertisement and realized that this was one of the extremely few times – in nearly a year – that I had seen non-white faces on a commercial billboard.
I saw this advertisement and realized that when companies want to show hard-working folk, they have people with a darker skin tone be front and center. When businesses want to highlight wealth, prosperity, and beauty (which I have written about before), the skin tone of the people is a wee bit lighter.
As my cases in point, here are the advertisements I saw during the rest of my walk on this one day on one street…
Go back to the Cristal beer advertisement and compare the shading of the four hard-working folk (skip the mime…I’m pretty sure that’s theatrical make-up he has on) with the shading of the fashionable, smiling, prosperous, and successful folk in the quintet of billboards above.
I had a witty ending to this post, but that was when this post was originally going to be about the mime.