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Salesgenie.com: "Ching Ching and Ling Ling"

by JJ Hawkins, posted Feb 3rd 2008 8:55PM
Ching Ching and Ling Ling panda bears are having trouble getting customers into Ling Ling's Furniture Shack. What's the logical thing to do? That's right, call the Panda Psychic who suggests that the Pandas contact Salesgenie.com for 100 free sales leads.

Six months later, the bamboo furniture store is back in business thanks to the Panda Psychic's suggestion.

I guess this is supposed to be clever because these are Panda Bears and they are selling bamboo furniture, (which Ching Ching rather amusingly chomps on during the spot).

All in all, this was a pretty terrible commercial. I'm shocked that this company dropped a ton of cash on a Super Bowl commercial and this is what was produced. It was mildly amusing and I'm pretty sure the kids enjoyed it (particularly the Grizzly Bear line at the end), but I don't know that this was money well spent. Next please.

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You are all over reacting to this commercial...... sheesh people, what is you problem??? I'll tell you what you problem is - you have all fallen into this political correctness crap that is ruining this country. You are fed a steady diet of this shit for years until you actually start to belive it- WAKE UP ALREADY!!!!! This commercial (although terribly produced) is NOT - - I repeat - NOT racist. If these are the things in life you all worry about - GET ANOTHER LIFE. There are way more inportant htings to deal with. So what, we all walk around on eggshells wathching everything we say so as not to 'possibly' offend someone??? damn people, Get Over It!

February 09 2008 at 6:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

VERY interesting comments. Might I add that the CEO of the company is Indian... not sure if that would change anyone's mind about it.

I'd have to agree that asian accents have been belittled ever since they've stepped foot in America, even the great Bruce Lee! It's annoying too how America has found a way to belittle "minorities"... I actually feel the word minority nowadays has changed.... minority means not white. All those European countries are basically white folks with different accents, but once you delve into the races that are not white (black, indians, orientals) then that's when the jokes and hate start to arise.

With that being said, I think it's still racist if a minority group makes fun of another minority group of a different race. Personally i didn't feel the ad was THAT racist, but my friends did (my asian friends), but I do agree with what someone said about Asians accents being seen as humorous and used to belittle the group. It's pretty f-ed up, but what are you gunna do... Asians are more passive than African Americans... we're too worried about getting ahead in school and making money rather than making a fuss about something that COULD be seen as racist... I'll tell you something though, I bet a couple thousand of Americans made an Asian joke after they saw that commercial... or could've referenced woody allen's movie "what's up tiger lily" or full metal jacket "me love you long time"

February 08 2008 at 12:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

CS - it's racist--or insensitive, or however you want to define it--because the accents are used for comic effect, and targeting these particular ethnic groups was very deliberate. Asians from the east and south have a long history in this country of being mocked for their accents, and looked at as these other, strange people, apart from mainstream American society. No one mocks British accents. On the contrary, British accents are used in ads to lend an air of "sophistication" to a product, as are other European accents. Irish accents are looked at as kind of quaint and charming.

So what's the big danger of being mocked for your accent and looked at as being part of this other alien class? Where is the "real racism?" Ask the Japanese Americans, some in this country for generations, who were sent to internment camps during WWII and lost their homes and family businesses, because even though they were American citizens, they weren't looked at as being "real" Americans (this didn't happen to German Americans or Italian Americans, even though we were at war with them too).

Ask Indian-American Sikhs who were beat up after 9/11 just because they wore turbans and looked vaguely like the terrorists.

The point is, being looked at as alien and strange has real, tangible, damaging effects. And accents--particularly Asian accents--have long been used in this country to belittle people and keep them in this separate class.

Also, you write that this isn't racism, it's just targeted marketing doing it's job - getting people to talk. By that rationale, anything that gets people talking can be justified under the auspices of marketing. If Volkswgen created an ad saying "Sure Hitler was a homicidal manica, but he knew his cars, and he was a Volkswagen man" I am sure it would get people talking. But does that mean it should be socially acceptable?

Also you write that "they" shouldn't be offended and be grateful to live in this country..blah blah blah. Can I assume then that you don't belong to one of the groups mocked in these commercials? If not, then who are you to say what "they" should or should not find offensive?

February 05 2008 at 7:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would really like to ask what was racist about the ad?

Was it because they had accents? Was it because the accents were poorly done? People have been doing that with English accents, southern US accents and Irish accents for years.

I’m truly sorry that people were offended, but I’m honestly struggling with what they are offended about… Yes, the bears are clearly Chinese, but they were Pandas, which are distinctively from China. It’s not like they were portrayed as stupid or incapable, etc. In fact, they became very successful and were able to live their dream. Yes, from the help of sales genie, but surely that can’t be offensive.

I really don’t see what how they were portrayed in any derogatory way – surely there must be denigration somewhere to warrant this amazing outrage, but I just don’t see it. I would truly appreciate someone taking the time to explain it to me – in some TANGIBLE fashion. Just saying “I was offended” doesn’t cut it – you have to explain WHY.

Around the blogosphere people have said “racism is in the eye of the offended” – I think that is a VERY dangerous standard to set. If anyone, at any time, can label something as “racist” simply because they feel like doing so, it greatly removes the strength and meaning of the word. You remove the gravity and the seriousness of what the word was meant to convey. Making African Americans sit in the back of a bus and drink from different water fountains was racist. Two Pandas with slightly poor accents who become fabulously successful in business is NOT racist. Saying so does NOT further the cause of race relations in America, it simply cheapens the rich legacy of people who struggled against REAL racism in this country.

Some people have said that this is “appealing to the lowest common denominator” of our country, saying that it is only for the “uneducated, uncultured and uninformed”. I agree with the first part of the statement, but not the second. I AGREE – it IS appealing to the lowest common denominator of our country, but that is not the uneducated, uncultured or uniformed. It is this horrible spirit of easy offense that seems to permeate our culture. If people are truly as upset about this as they seem to be, I believe that they should thank their lucky stars that they live in such wonderful country that affords them the opportunity to have no greater cares in the world that getting upset about a silly cartoon designed to get your attention.

This is not racism; it is targeted marketing doing exactly what it was designed to do - Get everyone talking about it. Sales Genie made an advertisement depicting characters with no negative traits at all and yet they knew that people would get in an uproar simply because that’s the way many Americans are.

Congratulations, you are all falling directly into the plans of Sales Genie ensuring that they will continue to make more of these commercials next year.

February 05 2008 at 3:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Apparently both Salesgenie commercials were written by the CEO of the company, so that's probably why no one on their side raised a fuss. Why FOX broadcast it, on the other hand, is more of a mystery.

February 04 2008 at 3:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As a 22-yr-old black male I also found this ad to be incredibly racist. I can't believe this ad made it through all the channels at salesgenie w/o being pulled. You would think that someone along the line would raise an objection, but I guess not. I can't see them gaining any customers after this commerical, but they should gain negative publicity for releasing this crap

February 04 2008 at 2:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Agree with everyone. The first one was shocking, but I had myself thinking, ok, maybe that was the intent. But after seeing them do it AGAIN with this one, I was just shocked.

As a twenty-something white male, they both seemed to be purely stereotypical, not entertaining or fun and racist.

And to think the relatively tame 'beaver' godaddy spot got pulled cause Fox wouldn't air it.. nice job Fox, way to pick em, racist sure.. but references that no kid would get with the godaddy ad, no way. WTH.

February 04 2008 at 11:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah, This was really bad, I kept waiting for them to make a "flied lice" joke that thankfully never came.

February 04 2008 at 11:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What were they thinking? Hey lets make fun of Asians and Indian people so we can get business! If Al Sharpton had any Asian in him he'd start a holy war against Sales Genie like #1 said. And this is coming from a white male.

February 04 2008 at 9:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

White male here, and I also thought it was a little racist. Nothing to start a boycott about, but probably not something I would have recommended.

Definitely agree with previous commenter that similar commercials about other minorities most likely would have prompted more outrage.

February 04 2008 at 12:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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