You probably know that those Salesgenie Super Bowl ads — you know, with the talking pandas as the Indian guy with seven kids — were produced by Vin Gupta, CEO of the parent company InfoUSA. Gupta, of Indian descent, allegedly wrote the ads himself, which many have decried as racist. (I just think they were painfully unfunny, which is the worst crime of all).
Gupta has recently apologized for the ads and pulled the panda one from the airwaves, but this whole thing is probably going exactly to plan.
1. Create racist commercials that are sure to cause controversy and be seen by millions;
2. Pull ads when outcry gets too loud;
3. Profit. (Gupta says his company will make $3 for ever dollar spent on the ads).
Sound sleazy? Well, InfoUSA is a data collection company that sells leads to telemarketers. Is there anything lower?
Gupta is taking to an extreme what marketers have known for years — that merely placing an ad on the Super Bowl broadcast can give a company enormous cachet. Small companies suddenly can appear formidable simply by shelling out the cover charge — an average of $2.7 million for 30 seconds of air time this year. "The beauty of our Super Bowl ad is, it's like being invited to the White House," Gupta said. "You have the bragging rights. Instant credibility."
And Mr. Gupta knows of what he speaks. He's a huge Hillary Clinton supporter who has donated millions to both Clintons since the 1980s. And he's been in trouble with his stockholders recently, with allegations that he has wasted funds on taking the Clintons on vacations in the private company jet. That's been bothersome to Hillary's campaign; which has distanced itself from Gupta in recent weeks.
So anyway, if some good is to come of all of this, perhaps it will be an end to fake Chinese accents. I've never found one remotely funny; not even when Asians do them (hello Margaret Cho). I'm sure George Lucas must agree.
And sue me if you wish, but I don't find pandas all that amusing either. You're gonna tell me to turn off my cell phone at the movies? Fur covered bastards ...