Ginger Kids Can’t Catch a Break

Hakanoa Ginger Beer Controversial Ad Hakanoa Ginger Beer is a company out of Auckland, New Zealand with a mission of becoming a local sustainable business using “organic fair trade ingredients, local people, and recyclable packaging.” Apparently they have some unique advertising strategies as well. The above ad, titled “Swap Your Ginger for Six,” is part of their new marketing campaign. If you can’t read the caption at the bottom, it reads, “Let’s be honest; no one really wants a ginger. So if you’ve got one, bring it in and we’ll swap it out for something you really want, a delicious six pack of Hakanoa Ginger Beer.” This of course has sparked quite a bit of outrage, and as always, there are two fervently opposite arguments. Some say it’s completely offensive, while others argue people need to “lighten up” and stop being so concerned with political correctness. Here’s the deal, though: I’m sure redheaded adults may be able to look at this and say, “Hey, that’s pretty funny.” It’s the kids I worry about. As if kids these days need more ammo to be cruel to one another. With regular schoolyard bullying, and cyberbullying becoming an increasing issue, any level-headed company would refrain from sending a message like this. Let’s tell these kids, who already have the stigma “ginger” attached to them, that their parents don’t want them? Does that seem like a good idea? Now anytime an Auckland kid brings a Hakanoa to lunch, the drink acts as a not-so-subtle reminder to any redheaded classmate. I haven’t personally tried Hakanoa, but I have tried some other stellar ginger beers, none of which use hurtful advertising schemes to sell their products. So lesson learned – when it comes to soda, let the taste do the talking.

3 Comments

  • @Kaleb_Francis August 7, 2012 @ 3:08pm

    The problems you’ve outlined definitely stack up but what annoyed me about this campaign is that the brand owner was so inexperienced and she took the advice of a legend in the NZ/Australia advertising industry.

    A fair chunk of the blame rests on Dave King, this was his idea and his execution as well as that have you read the press release they put out in the wake of the campaign? Talk about trying to backtrack and say this was an idea to raise awareness of bullying towards ginger people. Talk about getting desperate.

    I’ve written a blog post about it here if you want to have a read: http://marque.co.nz/brand-suicide

  • Some Guy August 7, 2012 @ 3:44pm

    Beware the Day Walker!

  • Gregory Onnen September 4, 2012 @ 2:33am

    This advert is terrific. In a world full of splendid red haired people, this can be seen as only being in fun. Three cheers for Dave King…and his red haired kid,
    who tolerates him!

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