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einsteinboricua
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The culture wars reach branding

Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:09 pm

So, as it turns out, Quaker announced that the Aunt Jemima brand will be changed and renamed, in light of the recent events. I will admit I had no idea of the origin of the Aunt Jemima brand, which led me to look into other brands like Uncle Ben. However, just like when Land O Lakes removed the Native American, there are two things I must ask:

1. Was there a movement to change these brands?
2. What will the change do in terms of race relations?

In all honesty, whenever I saw the Aunt Jemima brand, I thought of a nanny who made delicious breakfast items. Never did it cross my mind that this used to be a caricature of a Black maid. When I discovered Uncle Ben, I always thought it was just that uncle in the family who knows how to cook (I have uncles from both sides of the family who knew how to make really good meals) and that it came from a Black family...never did it cross my mind that "aunt" or "uncle" were terms for adult slaves (Chinese Americans better watch their language since these are terms of respect towards elders in their culture).

So, we'll take out Uncle Ben (which apparently is also under consideration) and Aunt Jemima (renaming them won't do because they'll be forever linked to their racist origins). Those, along with the Black chef in the Cream of Wheat brand (which also has a racist origin), are likely THE most known brands with Blacks as their image. Throw in Mrs Buttersworth as well. So now you're left with brands that depict White people more often than Blacks...well that's racist, isn't it? The lack of diversity in branding!

Here are some examples I can see emerging from the culture wars (beyond race):
-Snap, Crackle, and Pop (from Rice Crispies)...why is it three White males? Make one Latino and another Black, and maybe make one of them a woman (we need diversity).
-Pillsbury Doughboy could be offensive, depicting a fatty caricature made of dough...is that how they see fat people? But don't put him on a diet, because we're supposed to love ourselves and that's unrealistic depiction.
-Coppertone for kids is racist...why is it a BLACK dog snatching the bathing suit of a WHITE blond girl?
-Mr. Clean's depiction of a fit, bald man is unrealistic. Not every bald person looks that fit. That's a logo that bodyshames older men.

Of course these are exaggerations now, but don't be surprised if they end up being fought over.

I am for reform. I am for recognizing origins that companies should be ashamed of and seeking a way to make things rights. But I have to wonder if this is just opening a can of worms and having the culture wars enter the world of branding. And my biggest concern is that it will be endless and that people will be watching what you buy as means to depict you as <insert term>, because people, in their quest to prove themselves holier than thou, will nitpick every single thing.
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Dieuwer
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:22 pm

The problem is that the meaning of the word "Racism" has been stretched beyond reason.
"Racism" should simply mean: the (illegal) discrimination (treatment) of a person on the basis of his/her race (skin color, heritage, etc.).
Your example of a black dog snatching the bathing suit of a white blond girl is therefore not racism, as 1) the dog isn't a person, and 2) nobody is being discriminated against on the basis of his/her skin color.

Stereotyping is a grey area. I suppose it depends whether the stereotyping is meant discriminatory or not.
For instance, can someone throw a "Mexican Party" and ask the attendees to wear sombreros? I would say you can, and that it is no racism as 1) technically, Mexicans are not a race, 2) sombreros are AFAIK part of Mexican culture, 3) nobody is being discriminated against (treated differently).
 
ltbewr
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:26 pm

I think many companies not just in the USA but worldwide are going to have to look at their branding and marketing of their products and services to remove those that are racially, ethically and socially insensitive. Far too often, companies will react quickly when enough attention is given and could lose customers or endorsements when they should have changed decades ago. Companies need to have diverse and independent review boards, not just of insider executives, to go over current and future branding and marketing, to reduce the risks of costly clean up of mistake later.
 
tommy1808
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:35 pm

Dieuwer wrote:
The problem is that the meaning of the word "Racism" has been stretched beyond reason.
"Racism" should simply mean: the (illegal) discrimination (treatment) of a person on the basis of his/her race (skin color, heritage, etc.).


racism noun

rac·​ism | \ ˈrā-ˌsi-zəm also -ˌshi- \
Definition of racism
1: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2a: a doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles
b: a political or social system founded on racism
3: racial prejudice or discrimination

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racism

einsteinboricua wrote:
So, as it turns out, Quaker announced that the Aunt Jemima brand will be changed and renamed, in light of the recent events. I will admit I had no idea of the origin of the Aunt Jemima brand, which led me to look into other brands like Uncle Ben. However, just like when Land O Lakes removed the Native American, there are two things I must ask:

1. Was there a movement to change these brands?
2. What will the change do in terms of race relations?

In all honesty, whenever I saw the Aunt Jemima brand, I thought of a nanny who made delicious breakfast items. Never did it cross my mind that this used to be a caricature of a Black maid.


Isn't the target audience for those changes those that do?

Best regards
Thomas
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einsteinboricua
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:40 pm

Dieuwer wrote:
For instance, can someone throw a "Mexican Party" and ask the attendees to wear sombreros?

Ah, cultural appropriation. Nope! We can't have that either.

tommy1808 wrote:
Isn't the target audience for those changes those that do?

Let me rephrase the question: was there a huge outcry to make the change?

Here's another example: the country band Lady Antebellum changed its name to Lady A, in response to how "antebellum" is linked to the South (antebellum meaning life in the South before the Civil War = slave labor). Who was clamoring for the band to change its name? How is Lady A any better than Lady Antebellum? And how does the name change affect anything (for better or worse)?
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:46 pm

Maybe both of those examples were preemptive strikes?
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mbmbos
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:49 pm

Through matriculation, the old guard at many companies are being replaced by young executives who are more progressive and don't like racism in their product marketing nor do they want their brand marketed on racist and white supremacist websites. Several cases I've read in the past couple of weeks mentioned corporations that had made policy changes - both internal and external - where the motive for doing so came directly from their top executives who didn't like it and didn't think it reflected their personal values, let alone the values the corporation projected to customers and employees. I'm sure a lot of this was PR, but I also think it makes sense that fresh blood coming into power is forcing change.

As to Einsteinboricua opening statement, "In all honesty, whenever I saw the Aunt Jemima brand, I thought of a nanny who made delicious breakfast items," I don't want to rag on him too much, but this statement is quite revealing. Aunt Jemima reminds you of a nanny? Really? At the very least this stereotypes African Americans as being servants to white people.

I have made a point lately to shut up (at least some of the time) and listen - listen really hard to my African American friends. It has been a most informative experience and not always what I expected. It's amazing to see things through someone else's eyes instead of dismissing their point of view out of hand. I'm learning a lot by listening. I'm learning about my own inherent racism and sense of privilege. And it has changed me. Making concrete changes to structural racism in this country is now my top priority aside from kicking this corrupt and cruel Administration of out office in November.

Anyway, I've found lots of value to listening. I recommend it.
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tommy1808
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:51 pm

[code][/code]
einsteinboricua wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
Isn't the target audience for those changes those that do?

Let me rephrase the question: was there a huge outcry to make the change?


Not any I am aware off. But then again, you didn't know the origin of those logos, but the people working there almost certainly did. They decided to change based on that, not on the harmless notion almost everyone else has.

When I was a kid Chocolate-coated marshmallow treats where called Negerkuss, which, aside of less historical baggage, translates into "nigger kiss", and I do hope in this context this isn't a forum rule violation. As a kid the n word had zero negative connotations for me, and I didn't get why it had to be changed to chocolate kiss. And then I was done with elementary school and started learning history....

So I guess these kind of decisions are made after asking "what would people think if they know origins and original meaning?.

Best regards
Thomas
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:19 pm

I think some of you guys missed the point here. All this talk everywhere on social media about the company discussing renaming Aunt Jemima has put the name in everyone's mouth. This has now led me to realize that I need to go refill on syrup, and they make money
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casinterest
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:21 pm

Branding is a private company decision. Does it make sense to have Aunt Jemima for pancake syrup? There are enough racial undertones to this that over the years the branding and image has changed., and the perceptions in society. Pancake syrup should be about breakfast and home cooked meals. There is a better branding .

The private company is taking a risk as Aunt Jemima is one of , if not the leading product for syrup. However , if the taste is the same, I will buy it under another brand, when i find out what it is.
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einsteinboricua
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:47 pm

mbmbos wrote:
I don't want to rag on him too much, but this statement is quite revealing. Aunt Jemima reminds you of a nanny? Really? At the very least this stereotypes African Americans as being servants to white people.

Talk about a stretch. Let's start with vocabulary:

nanny (noun)
-a person who is the custodian of children

Don't know where race is implied or mentioned here. I DO know that I had two people who could qualify to be considered nanny (though in retrospect, they were really more like babysitters): a family friend who took care of me after school and days off until my mom got off work, and my grandmother who took over for that when I was 9 and older. They didn't clean up after me or anything like that: they would only feed me (from whatever they made for the day, so it wasn't like I demanded an a la carte meal) and look after me. As it turns out, on the days I would stay with them because there was no school, they often made pancakes for breakfast (my mom doesn't like them so she never made them, even just for me), and the brand of choice was always Aunt Jemima. So as a kid I naturally made the association: nanny/babysitter with Aunt Jemima.

It would be very revealing of you as well if you think that "nanny" is synonymous with Black (or that everyone makes that association), because in no way was my image based on the fact that only Blacks serve non-Blacks. If it had been White, I'd probably still think it's a nanny, because I only really ever saw the product when I was in the care of someone else for the day and they wanted to make pancakes for breakfast.

But sure...I'm stereotyping, which is why I'm a horrible human being. I'll go to the public square for my flogging soon to repent for the privilege I have.
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
 
kalvado
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:10 pm

What about those of us who were not blessed with chief-grade parents, would it be OK to have someone from the school lunch room or from neaby Dunkin to associate with some great breakfast?
Would it be racist to rename to Mrs. Smith (apple trademark notwithstanding), put a white face on a logo and do things that way?
Or "Syrup ISO1234567:2020" is the only acceptable label?
 
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mbmbos
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:14 pm

einsteinboricua wrote:
mbmbos wrote:
I don't want to rag on him too much, but this statement is quite revealing. Aunt Jemima reminds you of a nanny? Really? At the very least this stereotypes African Americans as being servants to white people.

Talk about a stretch. Let's start with vocabulary:

nanny (noun)
-a person who is the custodian of children

Don't know where race is implied or mentioned here. I DO know that I had two people who could qualify to be considered nanny (though in retrospect, they were really more like babysitters): a family friend who took care of me after school and days off until my mom got off work, and my grandmother who took over for that when I was 9 and older. They didn't clean up after me or anything like that: they would only feed me (from whatever they made for the day, so it wasn't like I demanded an a la carte meal) and look after me. As it turns out, on the days I would stay with them because there was no school, they often made pancakes for breakfast (my mom doesn't like them so she never made them, even just for me), and the brand of choice was always Aunt Jemima. So as a kid I naturally made the association: nanny/babysitter with Aunt Jemima.

It would be very revealing of you as well if you think that "nanny" is synonymous with Black (or that everyone makes that association), because in no way was my image based on the fact that only Blacks serve non-Blacks. If it had been White, I'd probably still think it's a nanny, because I only really ever saw the product when I was in the care of someone else for the day and they wanted to make pancakes for breakfast.

But sure...I'm stereotyping, which is why I'm a horrible human being. I'll go to the public square for my flogging soon to repent for the privilege I have.


I never called you a racist. I never called you a horrible human being. I actually like you based on previous comments you've made in this forum. You're a reasonable guy. I apologize if I have offended you.

If you say something like, "Heck I didn't see this as racist - I just saw this a someone's nanny..." well, I'm flummoxed. You don't have to use the N word to have a racist thought. We can be progressive and supportive of African Americans and yet at the same time have some work to do. Work on perspective, work on assumptions, work on understanding other people's point of view. I do it too! And when I catch it or when I'm called on it, I'm embarrassed and defensive - like you. But it is work we must all do.

Back to nanny and Aunt Jemima: your thoughts are drawn up in the context of what black women used to do, possibly the only employment opportunity they had - being a white family's nanny or even a wet nurse. This has been an ingrained part of our culture for hundreds of years and it is next to impossible to pretend there's no context to these images.

One of the things I've been hearing from black colleagues and friends is the frustration they feel toward their white friends who ask to be educated about racism. The comments I've read over the past week amount to "Read a damned book on African American history for once." They cite their frustration that even with supposedly woke individuals, white privilege rears its ugly head. We still expect them to serve us by educating us instead of...reading a damned book, paying attention in the first place, taking an active leadership role to change laws that make others second class citizens. We still expect them to do the work. I finally understand that.

Again, I've always thought highly of you. But I believe your thoughts on nannies needs some re-thinking. Sorry if that offends you, but I'm not retracting it.
"If I don't manage to fly, someone else will. The spirit wants only for there to be flying. As for who happens to do it, in that he has only a passing interest."
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ACDC8
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:32 pm

casinterest wrote:
Pancake syrup should be about breakfast and home cooked meals.

Hence Aunt Jemima, a loving aunt that we all wished we had making us all pancakes on Saturday mornings. But nah, lets look for something bad that doesn't exist in a brand and turn it into some faux "racism" issue :crazy:
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:04 pm

ACDC8 wrote:
casinterest wrote:
Pancake syrup should be about breakfast and home cooked meals.

Hence Aunt Jemima, a loving aunt that we all wished we had making us all pancakes on Saturday mornings. But nah, lets look for something bad that doesn't exist in a brand and turn it into some faux "racism" issue :crazy:


But it's not a new brand, and that is not how it was branded when it came out. The corporate heads have a new idea and a way to make their story going forward a better one.
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Dieuwer
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:22 pm

To respond to the "Aunt Jemima" controversy....I never heard of it before and when I saw the image for the first time my first thought was: "This must be something from the 50's..." (well before my time).
In fact, it also reminds me of the old cookbook from my grandma wherein there are advertisements depicting a smiling woman with a skirt exclaiming: "I am soooo happy with the new pan set my husband bought for me! Now I can cook an even nicer meal for him!"
 
flyguy89
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:44 pm

mbmbos wrote:
Back to nanny and Aunt Jemima: your thoughts are drawn up in the context of what black women used to do, possibly the only employment opportunity they had - being a white family's nanny or even a wet nurse. This has been an ingrained part of our culture for hundreds of years and it is next to impossible to pretend there's no context to these images.

Black nannies and wet nurses were really just a southern thing. So a bit of a stretch to say it has been ingrained in part of our culture for hundreds of years, when "mammies" are really a foreign concept to most of the US going back hundreds of years. Now blacks as cooks or household help is more likely a universal ingrained image in the US.
 
BN747
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:52 pm

mbmbos wrote:
einsteinboricua wrote:
mbmbos wrote:
I don't want to rag on him too much, but this statement is quite revealing. Aunt Jemima reminds you of a nanny? Really? At the very least this stereotypes African Americans as being servants to white people.

Talk about a stretch. Let's start with vocabulary:

nanny (noun)
-a person who is the custodian of children

Don't know where race is implied or mentioned here. I DO know that I had two people who could qualify to be considered nanny (though in retrospect, they were really more like babysitters): a family friend who took care of me after school and days off until my mom got off work, and my grandmother who took over for that when I was 9 and older. They didn't clean up after me or anything like that: they would only feed me (from whatever they made for the day, so it wasn't like I demanded an a la carte meal) and look after me. As it turns out, on the days I would stay with them because there was no school, they often made pancakes for breakfast (my mom doesn't like them so she never made them, even just for me), and the brand of choice was always Aunt Jemima. So as a kid I naturally made the association: nanny/babysitter with Aunt Jemima.

It would be very revealing of you as well if you think that "nanny" is synonymous with Black (or that everyone makes that association), because in no way was my image based on the fact that only Blacks serve non-Blacks. If it had been White, I'd probably still think it's a nanny, because I only really ever saw the product when I was in the care of someone else for the day and they wanted to make pancakes for breakfast.

But sure...I'm stereotyping, which is why I'm a horrible human being. I'll go to the public square for my flogging soon to repent for the privilege I have.


I never called you a racist. I never called you a horrible human being. I actually like you based on previous comments you've made in this forum. You're a reasonable guy. I apologize if I have offended you.

If you say something like, "Heck I didn't see this as racist - I just saw this a someone's nanny..." well, I'm flummoxed. You don't have to use the N word to have a racist thought. We can be progressive and supportive of African Americans and yet at the same time have some work to do. Work on perspective, work on assumptions, work on understanding other people's point of view. I do it too! And when I catch it or when I'm called on it, I'm embarrassed and defensive - like you. But it is work we must all do.

Back to nanny and Aunt Jemima: your thoughts are drawn up in the context of what black women used to do, possibly the only employment opportunity they had - being a white family's nanny or even a wet nurse. This has been an ingrained part of our culture for hundreds of years and it is next to impossible to pretend there's no context to these images.

One of the things I've been hearing from black colleagues and friends is the frustration they feel toward their white friends who ask to be educated about racism. The comments I've read over the past week amount to "Read a damned book on African American history for once." They cite their frustration that even with supposedly woke individuals, white privilege rears its ugly head. We still expect them to serve us by educating us instead of...reading a damned book, paying attention in the first place, taking an active leadership role to change laws that make others second class citizens. We still expect them to do the work. I finally understand that.

Again, I've always thought highly of you. But I believe your thoughts on nannies needs some re-thinking. Sorry if that offends you, but I'm not retracting it.


And there is nothing to retract.

That is a truthful and factual observation of the origins of the Aunt Jemima/Uncle Ben saga from beginning to now.

And for anyone, an innocent child or an adult making what ever claims re:their affection go an image - be towards an image born in racist context as Aunt Jemima/Uncle Ben were.
At their introduction - it was not so much to champion blacks for their culinary skills.

It was a simplistic mindless spinoff of characters from Gone with the Wind sort of speak, a portrayal of 'black subservience' in kitchen duties - every should have one but if you can't..here's a box of what 'they would do for you' if you could afford one (for hire).

I'm surprised no Black porter face was not marketed on Amtrak ticket sales...'a willing black ready to serve you'.
Reminiscent of Sam, the Black baggage porter for Delta who raced thru the airport like he was on field track to give a sweet little old white lady her handbag. Delta today would trip all over themselves apologizing for running that commercial in the 1970s & '80s.

But the AuntJemima branding was from an era, where Black faces could be portrayed any way white ad creators wished and thoughts by the NAACP fell on deaf ears. There was no avenue of recourse or redress from the offended.

BN747
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stl07
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:54 am

I wonder what our resident pancake eater thinks about this
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:19 pm

flyguy89 wrote:
mbmbos wrote:
Back to nanny and Aunt Jemima: your thoughts are drawn up in the context of what black women used to do, possibly the only employment opportunity they had - being a white family's nanny or even a wet nurse. This has been an ingrained part of our culture for hundreds of years and it is next to impossible to pretend there's no context to these images.

Black nannies and wet nurses were really just a southern thing. So a bit of a stretch to say it has been ingrained in part of our culture for hundreds of years, when "mammies" are really a foreign concept to most of the US going back hundreds of years. Now blacks as cooks or household help is more likely a universal ingrained image in the US.


I have relatives in Buffalo who had a black nanny and cook who they called "Mammie Lee." This is clearly a cultural and racist part of U.S. history. Also, the South is still the United States, so we're still talking about the U.S. and it's not a "stretch" to say that.
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afcjets
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:06 pm

mbmbos wrote:
As to Einsteinboricua opening statement, "In all honesty, whenever I saw the Aunt Jemima brand, I thought of a nanny who made delicious breakfast items," I don't want to rag on him too much, but this statement is quite revealing. Aunt Jemima reminds you of a nanny? Really? At the very least this stereotypes African Americans as being servants to white people.


Aunt Jemima reminds me of someone's aunt. I didn't know black people don't eat pancakes and their aunt's can only make breakfast for white people, not their own family.
 
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mbmbos
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:31 pm

afcjets wrote:
mbmbos wrote:
As to Einsteinboricua opening statement, "In all honesty, whenever I saw the Aunt Jemima brand, I thought of a nanny who made delicious breakfast items," I don't want to rag on him too much, but this statement is quite revealing. Aunt Jemima reminds you of a nanny? Really? At the very least this stereotypes African Americans as being servants to white people.


Aunt Jemima reminds me of someone's aunt. I didn't know black people don't eat pancakes and their aunt's can only make breakfast for white people, not their own family.


And now you know.
"If I don't manage to fly, someone else will. The spirit wants only for there to be flying. As for who happens to do it, in that he has only a passing interest."
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Channex757
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:51 pm

Apparently Uncle Bens is the latest brand to undergo changes.
 
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einsteinboricua
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:04 pm

Channex757 wrote:
Apparently Uncle Bens is the latest brand to undergo changes.

Cream of Wheat and Mrs. Butterworth's are also undergoing reviews. B&G and Conagra have both confirmed as such.
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ltbewr
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:27 pm

Uncle Bens and Cream of Wheat just need to remove the face of a Black man, like Land O' Lakes removed the Native American woman from their packaging. Quick, easy and done. Mrs. Butterworths, just drop the Mrs. and go to a more generic shape bottle like other brands have. The Aunt Jemina name and packaging will be much more difficult. All these products can keep their 'trade dress', that is the use of shapes, colors scripts on labels and packaging so not much different to most people.
 
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Aaron747
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:05 pm

I'm not sure what is 'culture war' about this exactly - companies are wanting to change branding and image in order to appeal to as many customers as possible. Even the potential for offending customers is plain stupid from a simple marketing perspective.
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vikkyvik
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:24 pm

mbmbos wrote:
But I believe your thoughts on nannies needs some re-thinking.


One could easily extend this line of thought to say that the profession of "nanny" is inherently racist, and should be eliminated.

mbmbos wrote:
well, I'm flummoxed.


You are welcome to be flummoxed, just as EinsteinBoricua is welcome to not have realized the racial undertones to the branding.

Personally, I didn't realize it either, until it was pointed out. Something that's ingrained in American culture can easily not affect a lot of people. We're all very different.

mbmbos wrote:
your thoughts are drawn up in the context of what black women used to do


I thought he was pretty clear that his thoughts were not drawn up in that context.

Anyway, the company is free to do this, and if it will help race relations, more power to them.

But we're all missing the main point here, which is that we should all be using pure maple syrup. None of this fake "table syrup" crap.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
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einsteinboricua
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:38 pm

vikkyvik wrote:
But we're all missing the main point here, which is that we should all be using pure maple syrup. None of this fake "table syrup" crap.

I've found that the syrup is what makes or breaks a pancake. I bought the Kodiak Cakes buttermilk pancake mix and initially tried it with just pure maple syrup (just because I had a bottle laying around). I forced myself to eat it. I simply couldn't enjoy it. I then bought store brand syrup...now I can't get enough. I'll try another brand of pure maple syrup, but so far, I like the highly processed one better than the pure unrefined one.
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vikkyvik
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:47 pm

einsteinboricua wrote:
I've found that the syrup is what makes or breaks a pancake.


Oh, no question. But I'm a staunch pure maple syrup user. I actually won't order pancakes somewhere if they only have table syrup.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
N583JB
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:58 pm

I like Aunt Jemima syrup and will continue to buy it regardless of branding, unless they really go off the deep end. People need to find better things to worry about.
 
flyguy89
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Thu Jun 18, 2020 4:23 pm

mbmbos wrote:
flyguy89 wrote:
mbmbos wrote:
Back to nanny and Aunt Jemima: your thoughts are drawn up in the context of what black women used to do, possibly the only employment opportunity they had - being a white family's nanny or even a wet nurse. This has been an ingrained part of our culture for hundreds of years and it is next to impossible to pretend there's no context to these images.

Black nannies and wet nurses were really just a southern thing. So a bit of a stretch to say it has been ingrained in part of our culture for hundreds of years, when "mammies" are really a foreign concept to most of the US going back hundreds of years. Now blacks as cooks or household help is more likely a universal ingrained image in the US.


I have relatives in Buffalo who had a black nanny and cook who they called "Mammie Lee." This is clearly a cultural and racist part of U.S. history. Also, the South is still the United States, so we're still talking about the U.S. and it's not a "stretch" to say that.

There were certainly instances, but "mammies" were nowhere near as pervasive in the North as they were in the South. The North was much more, shall we say, "principled" in its racism whereas in the South it was paradoxically acceptable and more ubiquitous to essentially have a mother-child relationship between black nannies and the children they raised. The South is part of the US, but only about 1/4 of it, so you have really a large majority of the country with no institutional experience or point of reference of black women as a "nanny class." Additionally, many non-white cultures that have immigrated to the US in large numbers (Hispanics, Philippinos, etc.) have an embedded culture of "Aunts" and "Aunties" as non-blood relative caregivers/nannies. I understand the problematic origins of the Aunt Jemima brand, and if today it's something that is offensive and hurtful to the black community, it needs to go.
 
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trpmb6
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Thu Jun 18, 2020 4:37 pm

I've actually seen some folks on social media calling for a boycott of Aunt Jemima syrup claiming the company took too long to re-brand and that they showed their own internal biases by knowingly slow walking the re-branding effort over time - (evidenced by the removal of various features on the bottle with racial undertones over time, rather than all at once).

This has me also asking a secondary question, when does marketing transition from outreach to a targeted audience to a type of pandering flirting upon racism. (Akin to cigarette companies targeting minority communities for advertising.)

Like Mbmbos I find myself taking a listening role. (Although my sister has yelled at me - via text - that silence is violence!) But I also see where einsteinboricua is coming from. I never saw a racist image in Aunt Jemima. Honestly quite the opposite - always figured it was her recipe or something. Wasn't until this all happened that I learned of the racial undertones it originated upon. Someone will probably try and paint me as a racist for that. It's not my fault I don't know the history there. I'm a well educated person. This is something I, and I think a lot of white people, struggle with in this. We want to help and understand and act. But in a lot of cases, we just aren't aware of the remaining racial undertones remaining out there. There was no massive movement to rebrand Aunt Jemima precisely because very few people understood it to be racist in today's world. In a way this is somewhat good - people don't recognize that as a racist symbol - but is also bad - because, well we don't recognize something that was built upon a racial undertone so we weren't able to correct the wrong.
 
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seahawk
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Thu Jun 18, 2020 4:49 pm

I always wonder if that rebranding is not also racist. Sure the original ideas behind the branding have been racists, but today´s those brands are often market leaders, known for high quality products and loved by millions. So does the branding then not also stand for success and quality? It find it sad that is obviously impossible for the image of a person of colour to be free of the past and stand for its own today and in the future?
 
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casinterest
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:06 pm

seahawk wrote:
I always wonder if that rebranding is not also racist. Sure the original ideas behind the branding have been racists, but today´s those brands are often market leaders, known for high quality products and loved by millions. So does the branding then not also stand for success and quality? It find it sad that is obviously impossible for the image of a person of colour to be free of the past and stand for its own today and in the future?



I think much of what the others have touched on fits this feeling, however this is a private company owned by Pepsico,so at the end of the day, the branding will go.
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flyguy89
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:11 pm

seahawk wrote:
I always wonder if that rebranding is not also racist. Sure the original ideas behind the branding have been racists, but today´s those brands are often market leaders, known for high quality products and loved by millions. So does the branding then not also stand for success and quality? It find it sad that is obviously impossible for the image of a person of colour to be free of the past and stand for its own today and in the future?

I think with a lot of those the issue is that the brands were originally contrived based on racial stereotypes versus brands featuring people of color with an authentic origin (e.g. Stubbs BBQ, Patty Pies, etc). Maybe time to make room for more authentically black brands?
 
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DocLightning
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:18 am

einsteinboricua wrote:
So, as it turns out, Quaker announced that the Aunt Jemima brand will be changed and renamed, in light of the recent events. I will admit I had no idea of the origin of the Aunt Jemima brand, which led me to look into other brands like Uncle Ben. However, just like when Land O Lakes removed the Native American, there are two things I must ask:

1. Was there a movement to change these brands?
2. What will the change do in terms of race relations?


1) Obviously there was internally.

2) Probably nothing, but these companies aren't really interested in race relations as corporations, as much as individuals within the organization may have pushed for this. The fact is that there is now wide awareness in the USA about the role of race and racial stereotypes. If Quaker would like to continue to sell syrup, they are going to have to reconsider their branding. That is their major concern: ensuring that they can continue to sell product and also ensuring that their brand value remains high by not attracting negative attention.
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Ken777
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:36 am

[quo1e) 1)Obviously there was internally.

2) Probably nothing, but these companies aren't really interested in race relations as corporations, as much as individuals within the organization may have pushed for this. The fact is that there is now wide awareness in the USA about the role of race and racial stereotypes. If Quaker would like to continue to sell syrup, they are going to have to reconsider their branding. That is their major concern: ensuring that they can continue to sell product and also ensuring that their brand value remains high by not attracting negative attention.[/quote]


I think we have seen too much corporate panic and hand wringing. If a company wants to improve their standing in the minority communities then start hiring and start paying decent wages & benefits. And, BTW, look at all staff when promoting.

As for the art work on the products change it to a person who's color is not easily identified. or simply leave the person out of the picture.

I'm reminded of Lee Iacocca talking about his PR guys working with an outside firm for a new company name. After spending $250,000 they presented the new name to Iacocca, who blew is top. The new name was "CryCo". The creative fools totally forgot the value of their brand and blew q quarter of a mil that could not be afforded at the time.

Let's get some sanity back in the country. Hiring minorities with a good wage, promoting minorities when possible, delivering community benefits like money for schools and scholarships. Those kinds of things.
 
Dieuwer
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Fri Jun 19, 2020 7:07 pm

Johnson & Johnson drops skin-whitening creams

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-john ... ce=twitter


Because.... "racism".
 
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seahawk
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Fri Jun 19, 2020 7:19 pm

So I guess skin darkening cremes will also be dropped?
 
Dieuwer
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Fri Jun 19, 2020 7:21 pm

seahawk wrote:
So I guess skin darkening cremes will also be dropped?


Not only that, but sun lotions and tanning salons will have to be closed too.
 
vikkyvik
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:41 pm

Dieuwer wrote:
Johnson & Johnson drops skin-whitening creams


Uh oh....what will Sammy Sosa do now?
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
BN747
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:46 pm

Dieuwer wrote:
Johnson & Johnson drops skin-whitening creams

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-john ... ce=twitter


Because.... "racism".


Because they lost their biggest customer - Michael Jackson.

BN747
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Dieuwer
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:50 pm

BN747 wrote:
Dieuwer wrote:
Johnson & Johnson drops skin-whitening creams

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-john ... ce=twitter


Because.... "racism".


Because they lost their biggest customer - Michael Jackson.

BN747


Ouch,
 
BN747
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:58 pm

Dieuwer wrote:
BN747 wrote:
Dieuwer wrote:
Johnson & Johnson drops skin-whitening creams

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-john ... ce=twitter


Because.... "racism".


Because they lost their biggest customer - Michael Jackson.

BN747


Ouch,


Well any business would miss that customer who buys by the Pallet.

BN747
"Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
 
TSS
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Sat Jun 20, 2020 12:19 am

BN747 wrote:
Dieuwer wrote:
BN747 wrote:

Because they lost their biggest customer - Michael Jackson.

BN747


Ouch,


Well any business would miss that customer who buys by the Pallet.

BN747


In a not-unrelated topic, I was going to ask if Hair Relaxer companies were finally going to start using actual black models on their boxes rather than very light-skinned (at a guess, probably Puerto Rican) people who have in all likelihood never had to use relaxer in their lives, but it seems they were ahead of me on that. Bravo Dark & Lovely!
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Sat Jun 20, 2020 12:36 am

Aunt Jemima was the spawn of the devil, truly awful mix of corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, water and caramel flavorings. Like generations of Yankees on Mom’s side, use real maple syrup, boiled down in a sugar house. Abolitionists never used cane sugar, made by slaves. Not cheap, damned expensive but nothing better. We have several houses near us. Pick up a pint.

Now, they got rid of Eskimo Pie! I doubt the Inuit are burning down the Eskimo Pie shops.
 
TSS
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Sat Jun 20, 2020 1:50 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Aunt Jemima was the spawn of the devil, truly awful mix of corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, water and caramel flavorings. Like generations of Yankees on Mom’s side, use real maple syrup, boiled down in a sugar house. Abolitionists never used cane sugar, made by slaves. Not cheap, damned expensive but nothing better. We have several houses near us. Pick up a pint.


Real maple syrup might be one of those things you have to grow up eating to have a taste for. I tried some once: It was dramatically sweeter than Aunt Jemima/Mrs Butterworth's and also had a much, MUCH stronger maple flavor, yet it was also much thinner in consistency and in that respect hardly "syrup-like" at all. Based on that one experience I'll stick with the fake stuff, thanks, but I am open to the possibility that what I tried might not have been a great example of the genre as a whole because it was bought at great expense at a roadside gift shop in Vermont and thus may have been garbage produced strictly for tourists that the locals wouldn't eat on a bet.

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Now, they got rid of Eskimo Pie! I doubt the Inuit are burning down the Eskimo Pie shops.


Have they changed the name of the product or dropped it entirely?
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Sat Jun 20, 2020 3:33 am

You grew up on lousy corn syrup version and can’t/won’t change. The real deal is thinner, tastes of real maple and is pretty sweet, so you probably got Grade B. Grade A is less “robust”. Best is go to the sugar barn, steam rolling out and have the syrup tossed on fresh snow. Yummy! Maple sugar candy, also.

Don’t know about Eskimo Pie, just saw the headline. Courage is not a commercial virtue.
 
Kent350787
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Sat Jun 20, 2020 3:56 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
You grew up on lousy corn syrup version and can’t/won’t change. The real deal is thinner, tastes of real maple and is pretty sweet, so you probably got Grade B. Grade A is less “robust”. Best is go to the sugar barn, steam rolling out and have the syrup tossed on fresh snow. Yummy! Maple sugar candy, also.

Don’t know about Eskimo Pie, just saw the headline. Courage is not a commercial virtue.


Seeing as we've gone of topic from the branding changes anyways, I'll chime in to register my preference for syrup. ALthough I've long purchased Canadian here in Austrlia, I have also tasted in VT and QC (including a cabane a sucre) and couldn't go back to the fake stuff.
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ltbewr
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Re: The culture wars reach branding

Sat Jun 20, 2020 12:49 pm

I couldn't find a link, but US and EC based companies are also considering the rebranding of some products that have racist overtones, especially in Asia and the Middle East. That include skin products that have part of their names as 'lightener' and a popular brand of toothpaste sold in South Asia.

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