Thursday, October 1, 2009

Weird, funny new "Hall's Refresh" commercial

Normally I'm immediately suspicious of any ad that rehashes the well-worn "Asian kid as geek" stereotype, but I love this one for Hall's Refresh. Yes, its kinda creepy, but I love how the Asian guy seducing his college roommate's mother is nerdy (he's playing with a toy dragon at the start) yet sexual at the same time. Weird and a bit wrong, but that's what makes it awesome.

(Hat tip: Angry Asian Man)

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All about Indians in 90 seconds


  1. It's interesting. This commercial has no middle ground most love it bet those who hate it REALLY hate it!
    The fact that the actor is Chinese and slight seems to really upset people. I'm betting if he were an Abc. & Fitch stud and mom were Kim Catrell they would think "Oh it's a commercial"

  2. This is actually supposed to dredge up mental images of the teacher Mary Kay Laterneau and her affair with one of her students. The actors are chosen for their resemblance to those real life celebrities. Their actions are of course...obviously mocking the affair. The whole thing is really repulsive, but it really points out how desperately untalented most advertising types are these days...this is all they can come up with?!!

  3. @ goldminer: how do you know this? You may be right, but I think it's a stretch. I don't there is really any resemblance to the real life people, apart from that both women are older and white. Laterneau's guy is Polynesian rather than Asian and looks nothing like the guy in the ad, who by the way is clearly over 18.
    I think the ad is cool - sure it's a bit wrong, but it's also kinda subversive. How often in the mainstream media do you see an Asian man get a white woman? Virtually never. And I think the fact that neither character conforms to norms of physical attractiveness makes it interesting as well.

    But like any piece of "art" (I realise that's a pretty loose term), this can be interpreted a number of different ways.

  4. Goldminer has hit on the very reason some people even think it's pedophilia. It's called projection.
    The concerns were already in your head and it troubles you. It must be the commercials fault.
    I was part of the casting of this commercial. All of the actors were chosen because they were funny. Janet (MOM) is ocver 6' tall. David is, as mentioned, Chinese American and a very talented actor.
    The director has won numerous awards for his work and makes people think. (and remember the product!) If you are thinking of touching kids please get help before you hurt someone.

  5. The only concern in my head was how something so unimaginative could have gotten past an advertising client. And the only thing wrong with the commercial is that it looks thrown together for nothing more than shock value. And yes, they do present awards to people for stuff like that these days.

  6. Projection? It's a weird creepy commercial and suggests by the way the son walks into the room and looks appalled, that he's walking in on his Mother and a young boy in the 'act'! Is that really what the commercial creator wanted people to think about these candies? So...who's projection is it? His unusual desires or ours? It is sad and sick. Write Cadbury and get it off the air. I won't be buying. It's revolting.

  7. Is the populace a bunch of sex fiend barnyard animals? Is that how this portrays the human race where every form or abnormal sexual preference is considered OK? Better wake up people to the slippery slope and start saying no to these sorts of corporates portrayals of human sex in media...before they reduce us to animals and remove from out existence any higher thought. Idiocracy anyone?

  8. @ Anonymous: I think you are reading a number of things into this ad that are perhaps not there.

    Rather than being a "young boy" as you describe, the implication is that it is her son's college roommate, thus he is over 18.

    And the "sexual" nature of the interaction between the two people is open to interpretation, and deliberately so. In one sense, they are merely enjoying the candy, very enthusiastically.

  9. I love this commercial. It's so interesting and entertaining. I especially like the very last part - surprised dad and son. By the way, I have recently created couple of articles about funny commercials too. Check them out if you like this kind of stuff.


  10. This is a funny commercial. Neither character seems to be into anything except the candy. The reason it is funny is that evidently the dad and son have overactive imaginations just like these projecting protectors of America's youth.

  11. This commercial is not funny or entertaining. It is disgusting. It makes me think of all the teachers that are convicted of sexual misconduct with children. WHAT was Hall's thinking when they did this? They need some mature people working on their ads. I am very offended by this commercial. And, I dont' think it is appropriate for children to be viewing. Hall's, grow up!!!

  12. I can't believe how sensitive some people are, and how offended some people can become over a dumb commercial. Maybe instead of telling the company to grow up, these people who are clearly over-reacting over a commercial, you should do a little growing up yourselves. If you watch commercials from other well developed countries, such as Brittain, or many others, they are a lot more "adult oriented" than most American commericals. But because we tend to have such sensitive "mom's and dad's" or just people in general we have to tip toe around everyone's feelings. It's quite sad.

  13. Hmmm... curious if you think teachers taking advantage of and sleeping with students is funny? Or if our country's divorce rate is funny. I'm wondering when people will start realizing how what we watch desensitizes us into thinking this stuff is "funny". It's time we start taking responsibility for our influences and stop being naive to the fact that these are today's influences.

  14. @ Jessica - Hmmm, I'm curious to where you got the idea this ad has anything to do with a teacher taking advantage of a student. If you can watch the ad and see that, you have amazing powers of perception.