Sunday, 23 March 2014

Some offensive Norwegian commercials

Offensive and perhaps even counterproductive.
1/ OBOS:

You can go to this site to read about OBOS:
To sum it up, this is a Nordic cooperative building association. The motif of their commercials is indirectly advertising OBOS by having characters (Americans and Italians) protesting against OBOS, in other words, by parodying other societies.
The American commercials among these are more acceptable, as they critique capitalism and the inequality in the US. The Italian ones, on the other hand, can be offensive, for they exploit stereotypes, attack and make fun of Italian culture and lifestyle, which is another way of saying that only the Norwegian way is right, especially when after showing several ridiculous Italian families, they have a Norwegian guy standing in his house.

2/ Grilstad:

For people who don't speak Norwegian, in the scene after Gisse (the pig) disappears, the little girl asks where Gisse is and, as the camera moves to the father, the voice-over says that of course you don't do that.
In the next scene, the family play with the pig and, at the same time, eat bacon. 
Is this meant to say that you can just keep and play with your pig, and then eat someone else's pig meat? Isn't that a bit weird? 
(In case anyone is wondering, I don't eat dogs, or cats).

3/ Stabburet: 
I haven't found this video on youtube yet. 
What happens is that at the beginning a Norwegian girl is shown desperately trying to eat something with chopsticks and then clumsily dropping everything. The voice-over and the line on the screen say "Lei av thai? Gå for pai!" (Tired of Thai? Go for pie!) In the next scene, she's happily eating her Stabburet pie. 
I'm aware that 1, they need a rhyme ("thai" and "pai") and 2, Stabburet does have some Thai soup, but, having considered these 2 points, I still feel that the commercial has some xenophobic undertone.

There can be more. Generally I don't like Norwegian commercials, which are often vulgar, humourless, pointless, unrelated to the products, or even disgusting. The ones above are rather new, especially the last 2, and particularly problematic. Interpretation now is up to you, I will not add more comments.

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