Race is still an undeniable factor in this country. But how much of a factor is it still in 2008? Well, maybe not as much as you might think.
Back in 2000 when we were in the midst of the Budweiser Whassup! phenomenon there was a brief moment when the client received a lot of criticism from, ironically, both sides of the racial divide. White racists were offended that Budweiser would use African-Americans in their commercials for some reason. And some African-American groups were offended because they thought were using young African-American males in a manner that was (to them) demeaning and offensive. A la Amos and Andy. I believe the term is “minstrelsy”. Which was never our intent. And, our idea was based on a short film by a respected African-American film-maker: Charles Stone. Who also directed the commercials that starred him and his friends.
What both groups had in common was this. THEY WERE OLD.
Old white angry whiskey-sippin’ white guys and old angry whiskey-sippin’ african-americans. Neither of whom drank a whole lot of Budweiser.
And who was digging the Whassup campaign? Mostly young white guys who had swallowed hip-hop culture whole. And for whom racism was an alien concept. They loved Jay-Z and Biggie and Tupac.
Consequently, the decision was made to continue the Whassup campaign, based on the mathematics and demographics. Racists are old. Beer drinkers are young.
Racism in America is literally dying out. Great news. For Obama.