Stereotypes Can Be A Laugh In Advertising

I love it when someone can take a stereo types about their own culture and have the confidence to say the joke is on us.

Every country has idiosyncrasies. Recognizing some home truths with a humorous spin lets us all be included in the joke.

These two ads have done that beautifully.

The first is a web film for Tennents Lager ad, made by Newhaven in Edinburgh.
The animation is simple, the poetry is not sublime, but it sums up Scotland from a point of pride and relates everything back to Tennents.

My favourite part is the midges.

The second is for the Canadian Film Festival made at JWT. They offer us an insular view of the world where Canada is at the big end of the telescope.

It’s a moody film with a twist, where the Canadians are “a bit too Canadian.”

Drop a line in the box below about what you’d say if you were having a laugh at your own culture.


  1. Stereotypes are a ‘technique’ used by advertising agencies to create impact. The creatives appropiating this technique, need to consider who they may be offending to get the desired effect. Also if the same stereotype appears in many ‘messages’ from different brands then it can become offensive. Eg always presenting italians as ‘hotheaded’ or mexicans as ‘maids’.

    1. Thanks for writing Carl, I totally agree. When people inside the culture use this technique to portray themselves, it is far less likely to offend. It appears self deprecating and is much gentler. When other cultures point out someone else’s stereo types – watch out, you could bring a world of hurt down on your head.

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