Sunday, April 6, 2008

New Coreana Nazi video pretty much the same as the old Coreana Nazi video.

Just saw the revised, Jew-friendly Coreana ad on OnStyle, and they did change the "Hitler couldn't even hold east and west" (roughly) to "Nobody could hold east and west." After getting their name dragged through the mud by CNN, ABC, USA Today, the Associated Press, and every other paper and blog that picked up the story . . . THAT'S how Coreana responds? By changing one word? How on earth can that be considered even remotely appropriate? After writing me to take down the youtube videos, and issuing a mess of excuses to the Associate Press, it's quite clear that they JUST . . . DON'T . . . GET IT and, as expected, have no idea whatsoever what all the fuss is about. As if that weren't apparent from the decision to shoot those ads in the first place. Here's how Seo Sang-hee, a representative from the ad agency who did the commercial and a woman who messaged me earlier, responded to criticism of the initial ads:
A Korad official, Seo Sang-hee, confirmed the ad was meant to invoke a Nazi soldier and Hitler, which she said symbolize "revolution" in keeping with the lotion's "revolutionary" dual functions.

Seo said the commercial was not designed to promote Hitler, but rather the idea that the cosmetics will succeed in both East and West, which Hitler failed to do.

And here's what I don't get. From the same CNN article:
However, company spokesman Kim Yoon-oh said the slogan has already changed to: "No one has ever had the East and West." The phrase was meant to boast of the product's dual moisturizing and calming effects.

The company said it had not received the Wiesenthal Center complaint, but Kim said concerns of potential controversy prompted the slogan change before the ad began airing in February.

The commercial still features the same militaristic imagery, but Kim said Coreana was not aware of the Nazi-style logo on the model's cap. He said the costume was selected by a stylist affiliated with Korad, a Seoul-based firm that produced the commercial.

The ad was clearly not altered back in February, and the use of "Hitler" is only part of the problem. The uniform, the background noise, the German language, and the, um, bombing campaign are all in extremely poor taste, and make the setting almost instantly recognizable as Nazi Germany. As to whether the company received the Simon Weisenthal Center complaint, who knows. Somebody obviously tipped them off to the videos on youtube---though I wonder if Coreana has moved to take them off Naver and Daum---so somebody obviously must have been aware of the media hoopla, and somebody must have been saavy enough to navigate English-language websites. Coreana does have an English-language portion on its site, but I have to wonder if they were even capable of interpreting the Simon Weisenthal Center complaint letter. And if they did understand the words, would such a motion even translate culturally to compel them to drop an ad campaign? A single letter doesn't seem very persuasive, and as I said before, as a primarily domestic company, they are fairly insulated against a little bad press overseas. A letter from an unknown foreign entity probably carried as much weight to Korad and Coreana as their Korean-language letters did to me.

And here's another thing. If you watch the "making" video for another Coreana commercial featuring actress Park Jin-hee and the 녹두 line of cosmetics, you'll see a white woman in some position of authority, and you'd wonder who was behind the cameras for these latest ads.

Well, whatever, fuck 'em. Spread the word to whomever you were complaining to before, and let them know that nothing has really changed. Get the Simon Wiesenthal Center back on the phone. If anybody finds a new version of the commercial on Naver, please put it on youtube and pass it around.

You can tell that I'm still pretty much bed-ridden because I have time enough to stare at Park Jin-hee write so much these days.


Bob said...

"Dear Bob--key question. Can you still see the nazi hat in the "new" ads?

Rabbi Cooper"

"Dear Rabbi Cooper,

Yes, you can absolutely still see the Nazi hat with the Reichsadler/Eagle symbol in the new ads as well as still being able to hear a voice yelling in inaudible German like Hitler, bombs dropping, air raid sirens, machine gun fire and crowds screaming back at the voice as in the Nuremberg rallies. The association with the Nazi era is perfectly clear. The only thing that has been changed is essentially one word in the Korean script across the screen from "Even Hitler didn't have East and West" to "Nobody has ever had East and West." The audio and video are exactly the same. I saw the ad at 1 am this morning on Sunday, April 6th on OnStyle in Seoul.



"Thanks, Bob."

Brian said...

Thanks for posting that. I've been trying to get a copy of the new video, no luck. Whenever OnStyle goes to commercial I get out my camera hoping to tape it, but after seeing it that one time I haven't seen it since. As you pointed out in your letter, everything is the same in the ad except for "Hitler." It's still plainly refering to Nazis.

Roboseyo said...

here's an example of how TO handle hitler references