There’s no denying Hong Kong ads can be pretty weird. Oh, the plaque on our teeth is actually made up of microscopic monsters? No biggie.
Then, every once in a while, a commercial will be so outrageous that it makes you wonder how many people approved it without question. Such is the case with this Cadbury ad, which was brought to our attention by a diligent Coconaut:
Not only is the appearance of the chocolate bar quite obviously designed to look like a black woman, but they’ve even kitted her out with white gloves as a throwback to blackface. We don’t even want to talk about the travesty that is the “hip hop” jingle.
Commenters were also quick to point out the strategic placement of the nuts on the dancing chocolate bar, but also how illogical it was to design a black character to then rap in Cantonese.
At time of writing, the ad has been viewed nearly 477,000 times on Youtube, but comments have been disabled. It appears that the commercial was made by Cheers HK, a local advertising agency. We wonder if they’re also responsible for the similarly bigoted and ignorant ad for Hong Leong bank that came out recently depicting a Chinese male actor as a Filipina helper (complete with accented Cantonese and brown face).
Let’s also not forget this Nescafe ad campaign from 2012, or the controversial Darlie toothpaste, which until 1990 was called Darkie and featured a wide-eyed, grinning caricature of a black man with white teeth as its mascot. Its name in Chinese remains “黑人牙膏” to this day, which literally means “black person toothpaste”.
Upon the name change in 1990, Darlie even released a campaign to reassure Chinese-speaking consumers that “black person toothpaste is still black person toothpaste.” Heaven forbid we make cultural progress!