Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

20 January 2012

Other People's Nostalgia

Publicité pour les Gateaux Bamboula par odilederey

One of the toughest things about getting along in a new country is trying to grasp the cultural references: that campy movie everyone's seen, the candy kids ate in the '80s, or the ads and the brands, whose context, though long forgotten, have become part of modern culture's quilt.

Today on Facebook, Osmany Barbosa shared this little spot for Bamboula cakes. It isn't a brand that exists anymore, but the biscuits were evidently so good that there are recipes seeking to replicate them across the French 'net. The ad's got a clear aesthetic that you can easily tie back to the '80s, but it also speaks to France's own colonialist history and efforts to come to grips with racism. Bamboula wasn't the only brand that reflected this struggle; Banania, which still exists today, is still the source of great argument about whether or not its logo and slogan had clear colonialist slants.

From there you can easily take the leap into our own advertising history. Uncle Ben's Rice and Mrs. Butterworth's have both been criticized for depicting African-Americans in a domestic service role, although that has largely changed (depending on who you ask).


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