Monday, September 24, 2012
Race and Social Conflict in That Jingos Commercial
Then it gets interesting. The lost gentleman's young daughter enters and asks her father if he found the right directions. Dad answers enthusiastically, "WE'RE LOST!" His stunned offspring partakes of the miraculous snack and speaks in capital letters as well. The clerk introduces himself to the daughter, the girl flirtatiously says her name to the clerk and the father happily adds "NOT GONNA HAPPEN!" It was pretty funny and the actors were all very good at expressing the mindless, loud joy Jingos is supposed to create. But the interaction raises several issues. Is the father objecting to his daugther's being involved in an interracial romance, or is he just being a typical dad who is concerned because she's so young or that he doesn't want her dating someone who can only pull down a minimum-wage job?
There's also the added socio-economic significance of the snack's name--Jingos as in jingoism, the kind of super-patriotism which proclaimed white, upper-crust America as the best country in the whole freaking world and don't you dare say a word against it.
I'm actually treating this in a satiric way, but I did enjoy that fact the commercial introduced the idea of interracial dating and then treated it as no big thing. I can't imagine such casting ten years ago. Will the Million Moms call for a Jingos boycott?