Racist Ad Tells Consumers, “Screw Up Your Eyes”

Finding subject matter for this blog has become increasingly difficult over the past few weeks. I don’t know if it’s the weather or the fact that I’ve just been lazy about looking, but it doesn’t seem like advertisers are doing as many stupid things lately. Then I stumbled upon this outdoor campaign for Multipass Travel and… sweet Jesus. Where do I even begin?

The ad is supposed to promote the travel agency’s many Asian destinations by encouraging people to experience Asia like the locals rather than as a tourist. It’s not a bad concept and you could argue that it might even boost the sale of Rosetta Stone software, but Tabasco (the Ukrainian ad agency responsible for the campaign) may have missed the mark entirely.

As you can see in the above image, the typographically-heavy ad features tiles that, according to Tabasco, can only be read by “screwing up your eyes.” First of all, that’s hands down one of the most racist things I’ve ever read. And moreover, it doesn’t even work.

Yeah, I tried it. Judge me.

If you can’t make out those letters simply by looking at the poster with your God-given eyeballs, then I’m sorry you were born illiterate. Maybe you should stop trying to figure out what this says, go back school and try to get your GED or something. While I’m sure their intentions were good, Tabasco’s efforts to get people to “see the world as literally as Asians do” come across as inappropriate. And where’s the 300-foot tall, fire-breathing lizard?

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