Tags: black shee. this or that, hamsters, hip hop, kia soul, racism, refrigerator box, toaster, washing machine
The creators of the new commercial for Kia Soul nailed it. It’s one of the most creative ads I’ve seen in a while. It features a crew of hamsters in the voices of the hip hop group The Black Sheep singing The Choice is Yours. It’s also a very smart ad, especially if you understand the inside slang about the toaster, the washing machine, and cardboard (refrigerator) box. It’s hilarious without being obvious or dumbed-down. The animation is also killer (check out the hamster in the hoodie at :53 channeling Snoop Dogg)… these hamsters got swagger.
Why am I talking about hamsters in a car commercial on a blog about race? In reading the YouTube comments, there were some folks who think the commercial is racist – that the car company is equating urban environments and hip hop with “rats.” I like to think that I’m very attuned to racist sentiments; I don’t have to go looking for racism, too often it finds me. And actually, the creators’ aim is to sell cars and make money, not make a statement, but I appreciate the attention they paid to the details of swagger and hip hop cool. But, what do you think: is this commercial smart or racist?
Series Producer, Basic Black