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!


12 Responses to “Furniture commercial that sells racial equality -I think.”

  1. SRP said

    Update! Look what I found. A rebuttal to claims Red House TVC is racist-

  2. I’m inclined to believe that this is more skit than it is legit. Case and point, sporting the same front man.

    But think about it. Who wouldn’t want some good-ass barbecue and a foot massage?

  3. Actually, turns out I’m just completely wrong. I hadn’t watched the video I linked to in quite some time and thought it was part of the same series. Woops.

    In that case, bravo Red House. I’ll go remove my foot from my mouth now.

  4. race will always be an issue in the good ‘ol u.s. of a… what should be happening is lorne michaels calling that director and inviting him to create vidmercials for snl. the tears for fears profile shot of the two singers is genius.

  5. golublog said

    Yeah this is one of those commercials one can’t quite interpret.

  6. Mark said

    When I was a kid (In 1987) I was shooting with Richard Avedon
    and he told me “THE CAMERA DOESN’T LIE.” I’ve thought about that long and hard across my entire career, and I think he’s right! Some films come
    across as stilted, while others have a seductive sense of purity. I think this commercial is a PARODY WRAPPED IN A PURPOSE, but that’s as deep as it gets.
    I like it for all it is, and for all it is not.

    I cut my teeth in this business shooting commercials in,
    I’ve grown fond of these efforts that eschew all that SNAZZ.

    Leave it those of us steeped in innuendo and nuance, to go looking for same?

    Call me crazy, but I think they’re just trying to sell some furniture?

  7. Lauren said

    RACE will always be an issue.

    BEING BLONDE will always be an issue.

    BEING TALL will always be an issue.

    Us being uberly-critical and overly-sensitive shouldn’t be!

  8. Jane Sample said

    “and Hispanic people too!” – I love that line!

    For what the ad is, it’s refreshing.

  9. Andy Webb said

    In a wide wasteland of slick Hollywood-ized TV commercials, how could anyone not be charmed and entertained by this totally unexpected and funny spot? The $1.59 production value adds to the appeal.

  10. […] 18, 2009 If you thought the now-infamous Red House Furniture commercialRed House Furniture commercial was controversial and bizarre (it was) wait until you watch this little ditty from Spain. It does […]

  11. I think the commercial was good, but i don’t think it fulfilled its objectives.

  12. Nice post! Very strange commercial…

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