The non-political correct Ad Gijs de Swarte Likes

Gijs de Swarte, experienced Dutch journalist within the international creative marketing industry and cofounder of independent strategic content agency Morning + Glory, shares the ad he likes:

“I like the ad because it gives us an indication of how our sensibilities might have changed. It is a classic from the legendary British agency Leagas Delaney that won a Silver Pencil and – as can be seen online – has even inspired people to go into advertising, as in: ‘the ad that made me want to do ads’.

And there is something to be said for that. Unlike many commercials, there is no sucking up to the brand – and it depends largely on the wonderful, oh-so-English art of self-depreciation, the magical ingredient for anyone who wants to be liked. Furthermore, it takes a long time to find a truly good political joke that doesn’t upset anybody.  

But it is also being droll about unimaginable misery. It makes me think of a non-existent ad for a German car brand that ends with: ‘And then we went back to take our place on the Dutch beaches.’ And the actual genocide remains unmentioned. Probably because ‘We stole their land, their buffalo and their women. We murdered them. Then we went back for their shoes’ is a lot less funny.

The D&AD pencil was won in the 80s, ‘despite complaints from some within the ad industry that it contains racist nuances.’ And these days both the words ‘red’ and ‘Indian’ are subject of heated debate. So could it still be done in this age of political correctness? Maybe, but you would need a client witha Trump-like state of mind.”

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