Monday, October 27, 2008

Rappin' Abe's $5 Footlongs?!? Racist Or Just Lame?

Okay, I know the economy is bad, which means people aren't eating out nearly as much. This means people are cooking at home more often than they're getting their dinner through a window, which I suppose is a good thing, especially if you live in South Central Los Angeles. Naturally, fast food outlets are feeling the pinch. McDonald's is still mulling over the idea of scrapping the $1 Double Cheeseburger cause the cheese costs too much. And now, out of desperation, Subway (home of Jared) is trying to go "viral" to get you to buy one of their delicious $5 footlongs. Something tells me this lil' campaign ain't gonna cut it.

Words and description courtesy of AOL BlackVoices.

Subway, yes the sandwich chain, brings us the newest misfire in big company viral marketing efforts by basing its latest sandwich promotion on derogatory stereotypes of urban street culture.

I was perplexed, but not offended, by the image on Subway's Web page of Abraham Lincoln sporting aviator sunglasses, dollar-sign bling and a giant diamond earring. Most astonishing is Lincoln's headband with the words "Home of da $5 footlong" emblazoned upon it. ...

Then Abe says "Five dollar foot longs everyday. Now that's something to holla about." That part sure is annoying, but not really offensive to me.

But then, Subway introduces a voice message example. Here is where the most trouble starts. You see the message reads like this:

"Sup boo! I'm 'bout to destroy a $5 footlong @ Subway. Meet me there directly and bring ur A game."

You are instructed to "pick yo text" and to "chooz ur crew."

Or to send an email you are instructed "yo you gotta pick your greetz, son."

I did chuckle at the image of Ol' Honest Abe all "tricked out." But, that is part of the problem. In my opinion the text is so bad and insulting because some in a very narrow demographic may not get that the joke is on him or her.

Think of the highly paid, extremely well-educated advertising executives who created this ad campaign. I have no idea of their race, and it does not matter. What I know is that these executives enjoy class privileges that those being made fun of in this ad have no access to.

That dynamic makes this ad insulting and not okay in my book.
Okay, I'll keep it 100 here, this ad isn't racist. It's a silly way of trying to use hip hop to sell a relatively mundane product (a freakin' whitebread sammich with mayo) to a younger audience. It's no different than that old 80's commercial where Tony Randall was rappin' about Ritz Crackers.[1] That doesn't make it racist, it just makes it incredibly lame.

Besides, Footlong Abe ain't got sh*t on RapCat.

Meow! Meow! Meow! That jawn was hot. But why does the dude who guest rapped look like BeetleJuice from The Howard Stern Show?!? I'm just sayin'.

If you want a racist ad, how about that coon Tony Sinclair and those Tangueray spots? Or that big boosomed woman on the PineSol ads? That sexually stereotypical Korean Airlines jawn. Or any Palin/McCain campaign piece. Or this.

I'm just sayin'.

So leave FootLong Abe alone before ya'll f*ck it up for all of us and Subway pulls this promotion on GP. I need my $5 Chicken Pizziola.

Question: Is the Footlong Abe ad racist or are Negroes merely being a tad bit too Ralph Tresvant-y?

Subway Fresh Buzz Website [Hear Rappin' Footlong Abe here]

Holla If This $5-Footlong Ad is a Racist Dis [AOL BlackVoices]

[1] Please tell me ya'll remember that one. Just awful. Felix and Oscar were cryin' inside.

* Thanks to ANewP for passing this along.

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