April 17, 2008

New Indian beer

Shades of Crazy Horse Malt Liquor! Someone hasn't gotten the message that it's not politically correct to use Indians to sell beer.

Koff Beer INDIANKoff Beer commercial featuring 3 Native American Indians to introduce new beer.

Comment:  This ad uses what appear to be Indians in Plains clothing. The main actor looks like David Midthunder, who was the only good Indian in Comanche Moon. I'm guessing the Indians are speaking Lakota or another Native language.

Other than the whole concept of naming a beer after Indians and using Indians to sell it, this ad is relatively innocuous. But that's a big "other than."

More on Koff Indian beer:

Koff IndianKOFF Indian Beer has joined the KOFF tribe. It is a barley beer with cornstarch syrup added during the brewing process. A balanced, aromatic and full-bodied lager that is at its best in good company and sociable surroundings.KOFF Wild IndianOk, this is the latest idea from Sinebrychoff (owned by Carlsberg): "Let’s take an old beer brand from the 1990’s and promote it as easy to drink festival beer." "Wild Indian" was the first corn beer in Finland 15 years ago (this one is propably with different recipe). Maize beer doesn’t sound very good marketing idea in Finland, where Bud has had quite bad reputation in the 2000’s. It pours golden with lots of CO2 and has small white head which fades away. Corn is evident in the nose as well some papery and skunky notes. Soft malty, a bit sweetish flavor. Propably corn softens this beer, although it is more on malty side. Light palate of course. Sweetish malty aftertaste. Clean and harmless summer drink.Comment:  Now we're getting into problem territory. Calling it "Wild Indian" and putting a chief on the label is stereotypical. Implying that Koff will make you as "wild" (and drunk) as an Indian is arguably offensive.

For related arguments, see Beer Company Suggests Atlanteans Built Wisc. Mounds and Paris Strip Club with Nude Dancers Named After Crazy Horse.


dmarks said...

I think they got the names wrong. They should sell Koff as a new brand of cigarette, and maybe have a beer called Glug.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
writerfella, as a lifelong drinker of beer since age 18 (he now is 66), WHERE can he get a couple cases of that?
All Best
Russ Bates

Anonymous said...

There is always someone trying to help us poor ignorant Indians.If someone wants to drink cold beer and or sell it---good!

Rob said...

Read some quotes from your fellow Natives on the "drunken Indian" stereotype. In other words, educate yourself about the problem:

Native American youth say the media has a powerful influence on perceptions of people of color and that they see themselves characterized as "poor," "drunk," "living on reservations," "selling fireworks," and "fighting over land." Whites and African Americans are also seen by these young people as racially stereotyped on TV--"black people are always funny," "white people are all rich and stuff."

--"Native American Children Recognize Media Stereotypes," Oklahoma Indian Times, July 1999

While Little Black Sambo and the Frito Bandito have gone the way of minstrel shows, Indians are still battling a red-faced, big-nosed Chief Wahoo and other stereotypes. No wonder people are confused about who Indians really are. When we're not hawking sticks of butter, or beer or chewing tobacco, we're scalping settlers. When we're not passed out drunk, we're living large off casinos. When we're not gyrating in Pocahoochie outfits at the Grammy Awards, we're leaping through the air at football games, represented by a white man in red face. One era's minstrel show is another's halftime entertainment.

--Rita Pyrillis, "Sorry for Not Being a Stereotype," Chicago Sun-Times, 4/24/04

I have committed my life to dealing with harmful and negative stereotypes and educating students on my reservation of their culture, traditions, ceremonies and spirituality. As Native people, we experience layer upon layer of stereotypes and images that dehumanize. Eurocentric curriculum and children's literature reinforce stereotypes of the "vanishing Indian," "romantic Indian," "militant Indian" or "drunken Indian." I have seen firsthand how these images, along with poverty or low socioeconomic status, generational trauma and other issues of reservation life contribute to low self-esteem in Native students.

--Denise K. Lajimodiere, "VIEWPOINT: Racism at Protest Shames UND," Grand Forks Herald, 4/12/06

cristian said...

I think if they have agreed what can be so wrong, it is just a comercial and everybody likes beer, it doesen't matter what colour is your skin.

Beer of the month

Rob said...

For more on the subject, see Teepees in Koff Beer Ad.