Above, for your consideration, is a commercial for Spain’s national airline, Iberia.
The airline withdrew this ad last week after complaints that it was sexist, racist and insulting to Cubans.
I just learned of it on the Racialicious blog, where correspondent Wendi Muse broke the cartoon down histo-politically. “Before me... I saw an animated articulation of the remnants of European colonial dominance over a Caribbean nation and its women,” she wrote.
For Ms. Muse, this minute-long commercial calls to mind the rape of slaves by their masters. And “happy darky” stereotypes. And the modern bane of sex tourism. And even Spain’s racist soccer fans.
For me? Not so much. I think it’s just good clean dirty bad fun. And the reggaeton beat is pumpin’.
I’m curious to know what you all think about it.
UPDATE (05/31/07): There are two other cool animated Iberia.com ads on YouTube. I’ve got them showcased in my new “UBM-TV” feature in the upper right corner.
The one at the top deals in racial imagery also – set in New York with a hip-hop soundtrack – but there’s nothing close to objectionable about it. (Unless you want to make an issue of the sheep being “woolly-headed.” But let’s not.)
Now, the bottom one is my favorite of the three, from a pure animation standpoint. It’s about Argentina, it’s about the tango. And it’s about the world’s sexiest vacuum cleaner. It’s quite brilliant. Enjoy!