Salesgenies talking pandas pulled as people are offended

OK, this may or may not have been plan from the very beginning, after all when we talk about Superbowl ads past how often doesn't mainstream media mention GoDaddy and Hilton hotels? Flopping spectacularly might be a ticket into repeating Superbowl fame, at least until something worse comes along. This year it was the Chinese pandas who spoke English with a Chinese accent - anthropomorphic characters need to have some kind of logic to be believable kids, and having an accent tied to your characters geographical location is a first thought.

The New York Times resident ad columnist Stuart Elliot reports in "An Ad With Talking Pandas, Maybe, but Not With Chinese Accents" that the chairman and chief executive of InfoUSA in Omaha, Vinod Gupta, says he is sorry about the Salesgenie ads offending people, and promises to stop running one of them.

This was the second year in a row that Salesgenie advertised in the Super Bowl with animated spots written by Mr. Gupta rather than an outside agency. This time, an outside agency, Creative Mint in San Francisco, handled production for the animation.

Am I misreading this? Were the spots in 2007 animated as well? Lets check our 36 years super bowl commercials archive shall we? Nope, the Salesgenie ad of 2007 wasn't animated, just ugly. Like the kids say: Intredasting

Despite the response to this year’s ads, Mr. Gupta said he wanted to return to the Super Bowl next year because the commercials had generated millions in revenue for Salesgenie.

“Maybe next year, no audio,” he added, “so I don’t offend anybody.”

You can watch the SalesGenie 2008 superbowl ads here. - Pandas (2008) 0:30 (USA) - Genie Search (2008) 0:30 (USA) - Genie (2008) 0:30 (USA)

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Comments (1)

  • tod.brody's picture

    The 2007 ad was only offensive to anyone with any taste. Ugh.

    Feb 07, 2008

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