Recently, (As recent as a few minutes ago.) I happened upon a news article about a hair product in Turkey. While I’m not too inclined to care one way or the other about this hair product vs. that hair product or their commercials, this particular commercial gave me pause to think; and so I find myself writing this blog. The Turkish shampoo commercial in question features video of Adolf Hitler declaring the shampoo product to be for “real men”. Understandably, the commercial’s had quite a few complaints from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and a few others who feel that the commercial is deeply, deeply offensive.
“We follow with sadness and regret the use of Hitler figure in the Biomen Men Shampoo advertisement, which was brought to the screen in recent days,” says the the Turkish Jewish Community. “It’s totally unacceptable to make use of Hitler, the most striking example of cruelty and savagery. … Using him in an advertisement for whatever reason is an unacceptable situation and could not be accepted by us at all. This is beyond all ethics as well as a huge insult to human rights.”
In the shampoo ad “Biomen,” uses archived stock footage of former Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. He is heard yelling and gesturing wildly with his hands, while a fictional and unrelated text above reads:
“If you are not wearing a woman’s dress, you should not use her shampoo either,” Hitler says in the ad. “Here it is, a real mens’ shampoo, Biomen.” The video is then seen to cut to a picture of the shampoo bottle with the on-screen message, “Real men use Biomen.”
ADL National Director, and Holocaust survivor Abraham H. Foxman called the advertisement “disgusting” in astatement released by the group.
“The use of images of the violently anti-Semitic dictator who was responsible for the mass murder of 6 million Jews and millions of others in the Holocaust to sell shampoo is a disgusting and deplorable marketing ploy,” Foxman said. “It is an insult to the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust, those who survived, and those who fought to defeat the Nazis.”
I’ve seen many posts in response to the commercial and I have to say that some of them left me utterly confused as to how people could be so apathetic and uncaring as far as how this commercial can effect people.
How would you feel if instead of Adolf Hitler in the ad, it was Kony, Torquemada, Idi Amin, Ayatollah Khomeini , Pol Pot, Josef Stalin or some other evil excuse for a human being whose image, likeness, and voice were being used? For the Christians out there.. how would you feel if the worlds largest(well-known)satanist’s image, likeness, and voice was being used to push this product? I’m fairly sure you wouldn’t like it.
All it manages to do is celebrate their atrocities, and act as a very real slap in the face for those who have suffered and or survived the horrors brought about by any of those names I listed.
It may have happened 70+ years ago and what Hitler says may be in the German language, which not everyone understands or speaks, and there may be subtitles which say something completely unrelated and different from what his actual words were, but none of that changes the fact that using such a person and their voice/words, such a physical embodiment of the darkness and evil that mankind is capable of to push your hair care product is wrong and morally reprehensible.
In the event that you haven’t seen the commercial, here it is. Feel free to let me know what you think.