Furniture commercial that sells racial equality -I think.
May 6, 2009
I cannot shake this bizarre and strangely wonderful commercial. Many bloggers made reference to it. Surely you’ve seen it.
It tells the story of a local North Carolina furniture store, The Red House, which happily sells furniture to, get this, black people and white people. Their words. That’s more or less the copy platform! An el-cheapo production, not unlike a jillion other videos propagating local cable and the Internet, I never-the-less was stunned by the spot’s brazen pitch.
We see black people selling furniture to white people and visa-versa. That shouldn’t be a big deal, right? But what’s so odd and oddly refreshing is the ballsy way the spot goes about doing so. Instead of carefully mingling different races (the way 99.9% of all advertising does), The Red House purposefully plays black people against white people. Unabashed in its stereotyping, a tough looking black man reassures a blonde white woman. The camera lingers on their two very different colored hands gently shaking. In another taboo-busting scene, a stereotypical redneck claims he likes “deer hunting, bass fishing and extending credit to all people,” after which we see him shaking hands with a sketchy looking black man. I know calling a white man a redneck and a black man sketchy seems racist. Normally, I wouldn’t say as much even if I thought as much. But look at the commercial. They are absolutely forcing these reactions. Upon viewing, one must think of the stereotypes. It can’t be an accident. Or…can…it?
Am I missing something? Is this a satire? If it were a skit on SNL I’d totally buy it as one. Yet, I think this spot is real. I hope so, because it made me happy.
If authentic, the Red House commercial is nothing short of liberating. The seemingly naïve employee-actors are genuine, likable and real. They “all get along” and they’re damn happy to advertise it!