May 07, 2010

Teepees in Koff beer ad

Two years ago I reported on an ad for Koff, a "new Indian beer." Now I've come across another ad in the series.

I gather Rick Mora was the lead actor in the previous commercial. This one features David Midthunder, and that's Saginaw Grant in the top hat.

Because of the teepees and the "How!" greeting, this ad seems more stereotypical than the previous one. It emphasizes that Indians = Plains Indians = primitive people of the past.

It also emphasizes the uncomfortable connection between Indians and alcohol. Unlike the previous ad, where the Indians merely lounged outdoors, this Indian bursts into a teepee uninvited and speaks aggressively. If he isn't drunk, he may be on the way.

Give Koff credit for using real Indians in its commercials. Take away credit for everything else: placing Indians in the past and using them to encourage drinking. And an extra demerit for the Plains chief on the beer can.

For more on the subject, see Suing Beer Sellers for Treaty Violation and "Drunk Indian" T-Shirts Aren't Stereotypical?!


Sober Native said...

The company that produced this commercial should be forced to compensate drug and alcohol programs for Indian people, or, stop the use of the imagery and use of the words altogether.

Until natives stop participating in these ads and taking part in perpetuating these stereotypes, the mascot issue is (yawn) nothing to complain about. Where are all the anti-mascot people here?

If I had my way, I would make the company that produces this product to forward profits and proceeds to Indian country. Alcoholism is a real and viable tool for genocide. It is equal to being the buyer of a newborn infant in exchange for cash to a crack addict.

If non-Natives see the validity of Indian Casinos as detrimental to gambling addicts and so-called “immoral” behaviors, how is this different in promoting alcohol use to Indian country?

I notice we never see cigarette commercials anymore, but alcohol still flows from our TV screens. What hypocrisy, by this ads logic, we should also be able to have marijuana and cocaine commercials.

Again we have the ignorant American masses believing that just because a pharmaceutical ad on TV is candy coated as all-American and full of “healthy” good looking actors, the pills they sell legally are not addictive or lethal.

If Michael Jackson and Elvis only stuck to marijuana, they’d still be with us today, right?

This product confirms racism as an American tradition and it is even sadder that our African American, Hispanic, Asian and Americans in general are not making a stand on this.

Rob said...

To be fair, we should note that Koff beer is a Finnish product. I presume the commercials were made in Finland or Europe somewhere. I don't think the US allows alcohol ads this blatant anymore.