For the most part, I enjoyed a lot of the commercials this year (I think my favorite has to be Alec Baldwin in Huluwood, “huhuhu”). When it came to Asian actors, there were a few throwbacks to stereotypes, some token-ness, as well as some stuff that featured none of the aforementioned. On the whole, there weren’t that many commercials with Asians, though. However, there were two film trailers, which feature Asians as either actors or directors (Star Trek, Fast and Furious). There might actually be one more (Up), but you can scroll down to that one and see why I’m hesitating to dub it so.
Anyhow, for those that didn’t get a chance to catch all of the commercials, you can do so here.
Priceline.com Negotiator: Although I love William Shatner and men who can imitate him, something about the language of this commercial rubbed me the wrong way…
“I can help, but you must say exactly what I say, exactly how I say it.”
“I guess I’m just speaking…the language of the deal.”
Okay, okay. That’s probably pushing it; he’s speaking the language of the deal, which happens to be Shatnerish. I get it, but I thought I’d be honest with my initial reaction, and this is coming from someone who can close read anything to death. But do let me know what you guys think. Anyhow, this commercial gets major kudos for casting.
NBC: LMAO: Disgruntled Asian nurse. Small part, but she’s there, and I love her exasperation.
NBC: Heroes Football: The cast of Heroes gets together to play some ball with some other superhumans. James Kyson-Lee tells Masi Oka to save the cheerleader yet again (yawn). But Masi making a touchdown and a shaking his groove thang…? Pretty sweet.
Hyundai: Angry Boss: Oh, we can smell a fake Asian accent from miles away… I would’ve preferred all the “Toyota” roles to be spoken in Japanese with subtitles (they already have a guy screaming in Japanese anyway, and his lines really don’t even need to be translated), so the guy speaking Engrish was so unnecessary.
Up: Trailer: Is it just me, or is that adorable little chub of a scout an Asian boy? It sounds like the voice actor, Jordan Nagai, has a Japanese surname, but I can’t find any information about him. Probably a newcomer. Anyhow, I’m looking forward to hearing more about this film. Let me know if you guys know anything about/come across anything on Nagai.
Coke Zero: Mean Troy: The Steelers’ Troy Polamalu flexes his comedic muscles. Pretty funny.
Budweiser: Clydesdale Circus: Why is there an Indian guy in the circus…? What’s his act—being Indian? Rubbed me the wrong way, especially since all of the Budweiser Clydesdale commercials play into the old Wonderbread, American Dream (in other words, there’s no diversity in them).
CareerBuilder.com: Tips: “Hey, dummy!” Broken record, just like my dad.
Star Trek: Trailer: A blip-shot glimpse of John Cho, but a sweet glimpse indeed. Spandex, woo Spandex.
Gatorade: Tiger: Tiger Woods and Jabbawockeez. I actually caught another version of this commercial the other day, which was pretty sweet because it also featured the Jabbawockeez.
Fast and Furious (2009): Trailer: The Slow and the Curious are back. Just kidding, that’s mean. They’re only
the Slow and the Curious now. Justin Lin is back behind the wheel of yet another Fast and the Furious flick, and it looks like it’s making another earth shattering commentary: grammatical articles are so passe. Three cheers for featuring Does It Offend You Yeah though.
Pepsi: Refresh Anthem: Bruce Lee was included in this montage of the past/the present juxtapositions.
Universal Studio Parks: Inner Hero: Barely worth mentioning… but the two other families portrayed in the theme park are African American and Asian, though you can only see them both for a split second towards the end. So very token.
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