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August 27, 2008 / davebirss

This ad makes me scream swear words in my head

It’s clear that this concept is nothing short of shite – but that’s not my problem with this ad. It’s the visual. It seems as if some pathetically jittery client has bought the concept (if you can call it that) and then been all nervous when it came to producing it. I imagine that their comments went something like this:

“Ehm. I like the idea of the Sumo Wrestler but I’m a bit nervous that we’ll upset our Japanese office if we show a cultural stereotype in the ad. So I was wondering if you could just show a fat white guy dressed up as a Sumo Wrestler and made up to look just a bit Japanese-y. And please don’t make him too fat because we don’t want to be seen to be condoning obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle.”

And a weak account handler mumbled “OK.”

Then when they saw the results of the photo shoot, the client went.

“Oooh. Can we retouch out the man’s nipples? They just look too sexual on his manbreasts.”

And a weak account handler mumbled “OK.”

And the end result is far more offensive to me than if they had just used an actual fat, Japanese Sumo Wrestler with real honest nipples.



Leave a Comment
  1. sumosue / Sep 11 2008 2:55 pm

    No one has ever said this Sumo is asian!! I think he looks great.
    I have today clicked on to Yahoo homepage and saw this sumo on a hsbc video ad, Again he looks good and their should be no one to be quick to condeme any thing. I am glad hsbc are helping promote UK sumo. well done and a great campaign

  2. sumosue / Sep 11 2008 2:58 pm

    oh yes, I just found a commercial with the ‘hsbc sumo man’ in, it is on youtube search ‘pepsi shuffle’ wicked commercial and nice footballers too.

  3. davebirss / Sep 11 2008 3:07 pm

    Ehm, thanks Sumosue.

    If it wasn’t for your give-away name I’d have thought that you maybe worked in the HSBC marketing department. However, you’re clearly defending another cause that I wasn’t attacking!

    You still haven’t convinced me otherwise. I still hate the ad for all the same reasons!

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