Sep 26, 2007

Fuck the Melting Pot.

This is a small world. We are supposed to love one another. We are supposed to live in peace and accept our differences. Ok. Granted. I believe in that. We all should. But.

Why the fuck am I seeing ads for my country, filmed in places and with people that are not like me???????

Try it. Just try it. If you give me the excuse that advertising should be universal and I will give you the biggest middle finger possible. Guiness Book big.

I don't get it. Not at all. I have just finished watching an ad for a local bank which was blatantly filmed outside where I live. Was the concept so difficult that they couldn't do it here? Nah. Was the location so unusual that they couldn't have found a decent spot here to film it? Nah. I know the story behind this, because this is a thing in my country which is KILLING the film and acting industry: it is cheaper to film outside this side of heaven. Simple. Sad. True.

Um. A question to our cheap clients out there. Don't you realize that by filming in a foreign country and with foreigners, you cannot fully connect to your target? If we don't see our physical traits, if we can't recognize our locations, if we hear a foreign accent... the connection is lost. Jimmy Hoffa lost. You have spent all that money for nothing, because it doesn't "talk" to us. And why? Oh sorry. The budget was limited.

I thought, I honestly thought, that companies should promote the local economy. Help promote jobs! You know! Help people where they are located to EAT and pay the motherfucking rent once in a while!!! I feel like Michael Moore in Roger and Me. Why the fuck are you moving your production elsewhere, when we can do it here and just as fantastic as anywhere else, just because you want to save a buck or two?

Dammit! I want to hear my accent! I want to see my people! I want to see my beautiful locations! If it is for a local company, then dammit, commit to that!!! And for the love of God, don't tell me that you produced the spot with an universal look just so that it can compete on Global Advertising Awards. If you think that "localizing" your brand will not give you the chance to compete... then damn. I thought it was supposed to win the award on concept and creativity, not if it's too local.

I just don't get this. Not at all...

5 comments:

RestrictionsApply said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you, but when it comes to business, some things simply don’t make sense… and this issue is one of them.
A few years back I had a very interesting conversation with a prominent US producer who broke it down like this:
Companies think in terms of numbers, not emotions. He used this as justification for the phenomenon of using US Hispanic ads in markets such as, for example, Puerto Rico. When you produce a commercial for a market of over 23 million people, why spend additional money just to reach 4 million extra people on the Island of Enchantment. I argued that there is a cultural difference, the accents are different, and the physiological make up is different. His answer: It’s not different enough to spend an extra million.

Of course, you bring up a very good point in that local productions are moving offshore, thus affecting your local industry. Again, companies think in numbers. Plus, as my producer friend, there is a false sense of cachet that plays a subliminal, but very strong role: anything done outside of your country is PERCEIVED as being better or of higher quality. It’s the colonial mentality of “If the foreigner did it, then it must be better”. People in your country submit to this kind of thinking more than they’d like to admit. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself how many agency creative directors ARE NOT foreigners. These are the people that run the show, so naturally, producing a spot in your country would simply be barbaric. Let the natives do it? Hell no!

More often than not, the last thing “they” care about is whether the people cast in your commercial have the same accent as you. The important thing is that it was done cheaply and by real artists, not natives.

joker said...

Ho boy and that's a production. how about canned advertising being sold everywhere. Aregentinians getting Mexican made ads. Puerto Rico getting ads made in Honduras etc etc. And lets not get into the shitty dubbing where a commercial is run worldwide with the lamest dubs ever.


Last I checked, capitalism in general gave two fucks about the well being of a community hence the success of super centers and mega stores. People AND companies don't care. Only the ones unemployed could protest and it's not enough to deter an agency or a company to produce locally every time.

Apart from that, there's also the small detail that if you can film outside any country, most people will so they can get the time off. It's selfish but true and if you had the chance to spend 5 days in Uruguay for the same price than two days of filming locally, it gets people thinking of any reason to jet. Is it right? Nope. Does it show? Yes. Will it change? Odds are that no. Does quality matter? When has it?

Make the logo bigger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Make the logo bigger said...

Seems like too different issues though. One is the melting pot thing and the other is economics.
(Where the two meet though is local advertising. The local car dealer or bank just can't go anywhere else to film their crappy cable spot.)

Still, feature films and TV shows have long used Toronto for NY. Even Hollywood limits its location shooting. Come to NY for B-roll, go back to CA and shoot the rest inside studios.

But where do we draw the line? Only British actors can choose British roles? How many films have had American and British actors switiching parts? Hey wow, Al Pacino can play both Italian and Hispanic parts? Who knew. (Okay, he’s fucking Pacino, but still, a lot of actors have a crossover look for different nationalities.)

Major brands though have a choice, I can see your point there, but, I think many times they want a more international look to their work that they think enhnaces their image.

Automotive does this all the time with shots of faraway architectural splendor. And the agency isn’t gonna say no. Fuck. Two weeks filming on the autobahns and the client pays? Sign me up.

I think if the basic human experience depicted rings true, then it won’t matter what their nationality is.

A long line at the bank is still a universally shitty human experience.

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