For those readers born after 1992 and are not familiar with the song “Ben ” made famous by the King of Pop Micheal Jackson ( The theme song for the sequel to the 1971 horror film “Wilard”) which based on the novel “Ratmans Notebook” written by Stephen Gilbert. This story follows the life of a lonely boy named Danny Garrison who befriends the rat that leads the swarm of trained/telepathic rats found in “Willard.” This rat, whom the boy names “Ben” (after he hears about the leader of a flock of killer rats), becomes the boy’s best friend and keeps his spirits up in the face of bullying and his terrible illness. Yeah check the movie out it was nominated for a couple awards. We at droppingjaws.com only give you the background of this film only to emphasize the thought process behind the commercial above. Hamster are Rodents!!! No big surprise right but what will surprise you is the cultural undertone of this commercial.
Webster dictionary defines culture as the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; also :the characteristic features of everyday existence. Droppingjaws.com understands the marketing and advertising industry infatuation with the hip-hop culture which has been synonymous with the African- American community this is nothing new to African Americans. According to R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News “African Americans Revealed” – a study of more than 80,000 African-American consumers over 18-month span broken down into several individual research reports — African Americans in 2008 accounted for a 10% increase in population from 2008 versus 2000, while African-American buying power increased more than 55% during the same period to $913 billion. By the year 2013 black buying power will reach $1.2 trillion dollars, a whopping 35% increase versus 2008, according to BET.
The “African Americans Revealed” report on multi-media engagement and digital applications shows that African-Americans are very tech savvy, with roughly 31% of African American discretionary spending dollars, or $39 billion, going toward the purchase of computers, cell phones and electronics – a proportionally higher percentage when compared to non-African-Americans, according to the survey. Again we at droppingjaws.com aren’t here to point finger but only to bring to the attention to the viewing public that
The UNIA constitution defines red, black, and green as the Pan-African colours: “red representing the noble blood that unites all people of African ancestry, the colour black for the people, green for the rich land of Africa. Beyond the fact of the hamster(rodents) being dressed in urban attire such as timberland boots, sweatshirt hoodies,denim jean outfits, gold chains, Adidas inspired warm ups suit, fitted caps, rasta skull caps and army themed jackets. Maybe the hamsters(rodents) chilling at the barbershop, playing basketball, walking around the a boom box with hamsters in pink mini skirts dancing are common things done in urban environment. Again droppingjaws.com is not here to dabble with racial connotation but the lead hamsters( Rodents) wearing Pan-African colors is a tad bit much. Droppingjaws.com understand the vehicle being advertised is called soul and the African American demographics is directly related to having soul(rhythm) which is fallacy but this commercial tinkers on the line of being offensive. With KIA being one the official sponsor of the NBA a predominant African American business enterprise, we at droppingjaws.com would think that this type of advertisement would compromise the intergrity of the NBA. It screams to us ” that KIA views the country’s largest consumers as lovable rodents” “BUT THEN OF COURSE THE CHOICE IS YOURS”