The first pitch shows coastal scenes from what looks like Antarctica. Oops. A shot of calving ice transitions to a block of ice crushing a tropical drink. An "Eskimo" appears to tout an ice-cube product. (Apparently Eskimos can't figure out how to chip a small piece of ice from a large one.) His look is vaguely Eurasian, he's wearing a hooded parka, and he has a blacked-out tooth. Finally he rubs noses with an Eskimo woman who's also wearing a hooded parka.
The second pitch shows two "Eskimos" in front of a frozen plain. They look like Asians or Pacific Islanders, though I suppose they could be Inuit. They're also wearing hooded parkas. They begin speaking in Inuktitut--apparently the real language--which the ad man mislabels "Inuit." Then they begin slapping each other in the face with a fish, which I'm guessing is not a traditional practice. Finally one touts an ice product in the still incomprehensible language.
I'd say both ads are total failures. Even in the show's context, they don't make their cases. They don't persuade you to buy ice.
In our context, they're stereotypical. Besides the de rigueur parkas, they make the Inuit look crude and primitive. A blacked-out tooth? Fish-slapping? Really?
If you think the second ad deserves points for using Inuktitut...not really. Some Inuit speak Inuktitut and some don't. But most speak English. There's little point in producing an ad in Inuktitut unless you subtitle it in English. That's another reason the second ad fails.
Except for the questionable use of the term "Eskimo," I don't find the premise offensive. It's a gimmicky but legitimate question. How would you sell ice to someone who supposedly doesn't need it?
Here's my ad:
A magnificent Alaskan landscape in summer. It's blazing hot and there's no ice in sight. The camera zooms in on an Inuit village, then on a single house. A couple dozen Inuit are gathered in a backyard for an afternoon barbecue. Elders smile, neighbors gossip, children run and play. The host cooks meat on a grill.
Someone says it's too hot and asks for a cold drink. The host checks the ice chest but...they're out of ice. Oh, no! But never fear: His wife appears with Alaska Ice, a packaged ice product. The barbecue is saved and everyone is happy.
Tagline: "Alaska Ice...when you can't wait for winter."
Cast your votes, readers. Would you vote for pitch #1, pitch #2, or Rob's pitch? Am I more creative than a professional advertising firm, or what?
For more on Eskimo stereotypes, see Nanookwaffe in Family Guy and "Eskimo Sisters" in Indian Headdresses.