Amazon Mustaches ad 2023- Unraveling Controversial ‘Tache’ Ad
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Amazon Prime recently released a new advertising campaign that has been both celebrated and reviled, causing a stir in the advertising world. The ad, directed by Hollywood star Olivia Wilde and titled “Tache,” has sparked controversy over its message, perceived representation issues, and incessant airplay. This review will delve into the contentious themes presented in the ad, analyze various viewpoints on the matter, and seek to understand why this campaign has become such a hot topic.
The “Tache” ad debuted at the Academy Awards and depicted a young woman’s journey as she grapples with unwanted facial hair. Initially distressed, she seeks ways to remove her mustache but eventually accepts and embraces her facial hair, drawing inspiration from famous mustachioed figures such as Eddie Murphy in “Coming 2 America,” iconic artist Frida Kahlo, and rock legend Freddie Mercury. As she embraces her new look, the lead character orders a jacket similar to Mercury’s via Amazon Prime and dances to the tune of Queen’s “Cool Cat.”
This ad forms part of a broader campaign created by Wieden + Kennedy London, aimed at highlighting Prime as a platform that caters to individuals at all stages of life, connecting users with various goods and services that meet their interests, desires, and needs.
Pushing Boundaries or Crossing Lines?
One cannot deny the campaign’s audacious stance. By featuring a female protagonist embracing her facial hair, Amazon pushes boundaries in an industry often dominated by traditional beauty standards. This bold move will likely appeal to younger audiences prioritizing inclusivity and body positivity.
However, not everyone has received the ad positively. Criticisms range from claims of the ad being overplayed to more serious concerns about racial undertones and alleged ‘woke-washing.’ One commentator even called for a boycott of Amazon Prime to protest the advertisement.
One of the primary sources of controversy stems from the frequency with which the ad is played. Several viewers have expressed annoyance at the volume of times the ad has been displayed since its release, contributing to a general sense of frustration and resentment towards the advertisement.
Subtle Messages or Inadvertent Stereotyping?
Others have gone further, suggesting the ad has racially motivated undertones. Critics argue that using an East Asian and an African American child staring in awe at the mustachioed heroine could be interpreted as a racially biased portrayal. While this is a subjective interpretation, its being raised indicates that Amazon might need to consider potential misinterpretations in future campaigns.
Despite these criticisms, the ad has also been met with a great deal of praise. Supporters appreciate the commercial’s message of self-acceptance and individuality, lauding Amazon Prime for addressing an often overlooked aspect of body image and promoting diversity in their advertising.
Missing the Point or Masterful Messaging?
Many who appreciate the ad see it as an empowering representation of the individual struggle against societal norms. They note the protagonist’s decision to defy conventional beauty standards, drawing inspiration from figures who have similarly challenged societal norms. However, critics argue that Amazon missed the mark, with some even suggesting that the ad encourages mimicry of popular figures rather than fostering individual self-expression.
Another point of contention revolves around the price disparity between the depicted options to tackle the protagonist’s predicament – opting for a pricey Freddie Mercury jacket over a cheaper shaving alternative. Critics argue that the ad is tone-deaf, failing to recognize the financial realities of many viewers.
Concept Execution and Controversial Undertones
It is interesting how Amazon Prime seems to take on a hot-button topic – body positivity and, more specifically, facial hair on women. This is an area where society’s beauty standards have been rigid and the society unforgiving. Nevertheless, the commercial endeavors to subvert this norm. The main protagonist in the commercial bravely embraces her mustache and builds a style around it. This involves adopting elements from people who are famous for their mustaches, thereby showing that a woman can have facial hair and still be confident and appealing.
Therein lies the crux of the controversy. While some viewers found the concept empowering and fresh, others found it forced, questioning the necessity of the mustache and the requirement to resort to extreme means to convey a message. Some viewers considered it as an unnecessary exploitation of a societal issue for commercial gain.
On the other side of the controversy, some viewers pointed out what they considered racially motivated undertones. The viewers’ issue was not with the concept or the protagonist’s facial hair but with the volume of times, the ad has been displayed since its release.
The critic also raised questions about the selection of role models and the choice of characters in awe of the protagonist. While it is a critical discussion, labeling the ad as racially motivated might be a stretch. Amazon likely aimed for an inclusive and diverse representation.
PROS and CONS
- Empowerment through Acceptance: The ad skillfully brings to the fore a rarely discussed issue – women’s facial hair. It encourages viewers to accept and embrace their unique physical characteristics, which is a powerful, body-positive message.
- Star Power: Olivia Wilde’s involvement gives the ad a touch of Hollywood glamour. This, combined with references to popular culture icons like Eddie Murphy, Frida Kahlo, and Freddie Mercury, boosts the ad’s appeal to a broader audience.
- Tying with Prime Service: The ad highlights Amazon Prime’s role in helping the protagonist embrace her individuality through movies, music, or shopping. It makes a strong case for the versatility of Prime services.
- Message Overshadowing Product: The ad’s focus on the protagonist’s journey of acceptance might overshadow Amazon Prime’s benefits. Some viewers may remember the controversy more than the product, diluting the intended promotional effect.
- Cultural Misappropriation: Some viewers criticized the ad for cultural misappropriation. They argued that using mustaches – often associated with masculinity – to empower a woman could reinforce rather than challenge gender stereotypes.
- Overbearing Ad Frequency: Many viewers complained about the ad’s excessive replay, leading to viewer fatigue and annoyance rather than increased engagement.
Public Reception and Comments
The comments section provides a rich insight into the public reception of the ad. Many have embraced it for its daring attempt to break societal norms and body-positive messages. Some even shared their delight in purchasing the same yellow jacket that the protagonist wears in the ad.
However, many viewers have expressed annoyance at the frequency of the ad’s airing, with some even canceling their Amazon Prime subscriptions over it. The commercial’s apparent ‘workerism’ has also been a topic of ire among a section of viewers who accused Amazon of forcing their agenda down the viewer’s throat. There’s also a discussion about whether the term ‘tache, short for mustache, is correct, with viewers stating that the commonly accepted term is ‘stache.
In the middle of the mix, some viewers have raised concerns about the deleted comments and dislikes on the video, bringing into question the freedom of speech and public opinion manipulation. However, it’s important to note that companies usually reserve the right to moderate their digital spaces, though the extent of such moderation should ideally be limited to keeping discussions civil and respectful.
Amazon Prime’s “Tache” commercial, starring Olivia Wilde, is undoubtedly an advertisement that pushes boundaries and sparks conversations, whether they be about the inclusion of mustaches on women, body positivity, or the frequency with which the advertisement is aired. It is a brave move, not without its share of controversies and backlash.
While it is essential to challenge societal norms and encourage inclusivity, the execution of such messages needs to be done sensitively and thoughtfully that respect the viewer’s space and intelligence. The frequency and perceived forcefulness of the ad’s airing have turned away some viewers, suggesting the need for a balance between delivering a powerful message and respecting viewers’ preferences.
Despite the controversy, this commercial has successfully done what every ad aims to do – create buzz and get people talking about the product, in this case, Amazon Prime. It has generated a dialogue about body positivity, societal norms, and inclusivity, which are essential and timely conversations. The ad’s success will ultimately depend on whether it results in an increased subscription to Amazon Prime, but as far as making an impact goes, it seems to have hit the mark.
Amazon Advert Cast and Credits
Client Amazon Prime
Claudine Cheever, VP, global brand marketing;
Joe Shoesmith, global chief creative officer;
Deborah Curtis, director global Prime & retail marketing;
Adam Craw, global head of Prime marketing;
David Connell, worldwide head of creative production;
Christopher See, group creative director;
Chris Whitehead, Jackie Meyer, creative directors;
David Gonzales, sr. global brand planner;
Nicole Miller, sr. creative program manager;
Crystal Davis, creative program manager.
Agenc yWieden+Kennedy London
Charlie Lanus, Lucas Reis, creative directors;
Susan Hoffman, executive creative director;
Georgina Brisby, Marcelo Duarte, creatives;
Dan Hill, chief strategy officer;
Rory Foster, strategy director;
Rich Adkins, Amy Leach, heads of production;
Iona Patterson, producer.
Production Anonymous Content
Olivia Wilde, director;
Daisy Mellors, exec producer;
Saul Germaine, producer;
Ashley Roberts, production manager;
Chris Blauvelt, DP;
Karen Murphy, production designer;
Erin Benach, costume designer.
Editorial Cabin Edit
Chan Hatcher, editor;
Sidney Williams, Craig Griffiths, edit assistants;
Michelle Dorsch, edit producer.
VFX Time Based Arts
Tom Johnson, VFX head of production;
Tom Manton, VFX producer;
Sheldon Gardner, VFX supervisor;
Simone Grattarola, colorist.
Music”Cool Cat” by Queen SoundKing Lear
Jack Sedgwick, sound designer;
Suzy Macgregor, sound producer.
Olivia Wilde, born on March 10, 1984, in New York City, is a multifaceted talent in the entertainment industry, best known for her roles in both television and film. As an actress, she has showcased her versatility with memorable performances in the medical drama “House” and critically acclaimed films like “Her” and “Rush.” Wilde’s striking screen presence and profound acting abilities have allowed her to build a remarkable repertoire.
However, Wilde’s prowess isn’t confined to acting alone. In recent years, she has expanded her reach within the film industry to include directing. Her directorial debut, the 2019 coming-of-age comedy “Booksmart,” was met with immense critical acclaim, signifying her adeptness behind the camera. Wilde’s most recent directorial venture, “Don’t Worry Darling,” starring Harry Styles, indicates her continued evolution as a filmmaker.
Beyond her professional accomplishments, Wilde is also known for her philanthropic efforts. She is a co-founder of Conscious Commerce, an organization that connects brands with causes to help make a positive impact. Olivia Wilde’s diverse skills and committed social responsibility make her a notable figure in today’s entertainment and activism spheres.