Trending Topics

Is New Obama Radio Commercial Offensive?

Even for a candidate like Barack Obama with an approval rating among African Americans approaching 90 percent, it’s still a somewhat dicey proposition to create special commercials tailored to the black community.

Listening to the ad that the Obama campaign released yesterday for black radio, some listeners might feel like Obama crossed the line into patronizing and offensive. With a chintzy R&B track playing in the background, the ad features a group of singers crooning the line “Mr. President, we’ve got your back,” on top of a series of clips from Obama speeches intended to show African Americans the tough stance he’s taken on issues the black community cares about, such as education and healthcare.

Some listeners might think the Obama ad approaches the tone of the infamous Mary J. Blige Burger King commercial in which she sings passionately about “crispy chicken” or a thousand different McDonald’s radio ads—always seemingly containing the cliche of a black woman starting a conversation with her best friend by saying, “Girl!…”—featuring black people going way over the top talking about their love for fried hamburger meat.

In reaching out to the black community, sometimes it’s safer to just play it straight and present the facts, rather than trying to incorporate some element of black culture that might come off as patronizing. Listen to the Obama radio commercial HERE and decide for yourself.


Back to top