After being ignored by corporations who laid back and took Black dollars without actively marketing products to consumers of color, companies are starting to reach out to minority consumers and target them through commercials. But many feel these targeted commercials, which air on stations like BET and Centric, or are showcased during programming most likely viewed by Blacks or other minorities, are rife with stereotypes.

Recently, a CLUTCH reader brought this new State Farm commercial, staring Selita Ebanks and Mehcad Brooks, to our attention. She was concerned because she felt it showcased Black women in a negative, stereotypical light—loud, and complaining about Black men. Although I felt the commercial was funny and didn’t necessarily take a jab at Black women, but rather played up the idea of the nagging girlfriend/wife, I understood her concerns.

Whenever these types of questions come up, I’m curious to know what others think. How I view something will not necessarily be how others interpret it, and between our differences lies a very valuable conversation.

Commercials do not always showcase people, not just Black people, in the most positive light. Their point is not only to sell the product, but also to get people talking as well as entertain the consumer. There have been other commercials that have made me tilt my head and think, hmm . . . did they REALLY have to have us sounding like THAT (Case in point, the Popeye’s commercial featuring the sassy Black chef), but for me, this wasn’t one of them.

While I understand it is extremely important for us to monitor and hold companies, shows, and the media accountable for how they portray us, how do we know when they’ve crossed the line? When does something move from being funny to being stereotypical? And do conversations like this show that we are just too sensitive about race, or are our concerns valid?

What do you think about the commercial? Is it funny or is it yet another jab at Black women? You tell us!

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  • Jamais

    When I first saw this commercial, my initial thought was “Uh-oh,” standby for lawsuits. Hell, if ANY group of people can complain about being totally 24/7 dissed by ad producers it’s your basic homely white male dude. Black man here, dated and had relationships with women of all races, but I notice that they aren’t portrayed as anything other than stupid pus*ies who are completely astonished by everything happening around them. They are “kick to the nuts” sponges, don’t care about how beer tastes (Miller Lite commercials), and are generally eternally childlike. Now I notice that TV ad producers are tossing in brothers into those “average dumb dude” commercials. Personally, I’m convinced that there’s a sociopathic elite who get erections watching whites, Latino, Blacks and Asians at war with each other in perpetuity. If these racial groups ever realized what was happening to them, the Elites would need to be afraid…very afraid. Remember the Bastille?