And Now a Woke Word from Our Sponsor…

Does any other member of the TV audience feel they are being hit, over and over again, by the speeding diversity bandwagon which is now rolling through the all-too-frequent ad breaks?  Commercials, it appears, have climbed onto the woke charabanc, no longer merely crass and annoying but in-your-face virtuous as they flaunt their woke casting of ethnic, racial and other minorities.

Ensuring that every woke category wins a prize, there is also a side-order of other go-to minorities, such as the gaily gay (in ads for on-line dating services and banks). The ‘generously-proportioned’ — overweight in the common parlance — also get their garlands for being not only ‘stunning and brave’ but, or so it is alleged, ‘healthy and beautiful’. Three cheers from the sofa-spud chubbies, no doubt, but just why a private health insurance company (you know, the Medibank Private ad, where an oversized brown woman in sweat-stained duds is the star) would want to load up their books with those who are at higher risk of obesity-related chronic diseases, and are therefore a drain on the company’s profits, is a mystery for these woke times.

In all their diverse glory, there they are, off-white, brown and black people lecturing their captive viewer that legacy Australia (Anglo-Irish-European)  is passé and that the glorious new multicultural Australia (or whatever Aboriginal word will likely soon be the continent’s new name) is where it’s at.  The endless parade of happily mingling ethnicities on our TV screens is a less-than-subtle moral rebuke to all the unbelievers in the great big racial melting pot.

To see if this perception of a contemporary upsurge in woke TV ads holds any empirical water or whether noticing such a trend is old-fashioned lizard-brained bigotry, at great sacrifice I sampled the racial and ethnic composition of TV ads over the past two weeks of prime-time TV as it went to air in in the Adelaide market. Only those TV stations raising revenue from commercials (thus including SBS) were in scope because the ABC is not only ad-free but also a giant, ever-rolling 24/7 advertisement for the wonders of wokeness through its every programming choice and news coverage. My findings were sorted by whether the ad as a whole was monochromatically white (non-woke and therefore bad) or whether it is leavened, or totally dominated, by one or more non-white actors (fully woke and therefore good).

The contemporary history of woke TV advertising

Before revealing the results of my ad-watching labours, the context of the recent woke history of TV ads needs a little backgrounding.

Back in 2005, a study for the Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy (Portrayals Of Cultural Diversity In Australian Television Commercials: A Benchmark) analysed the ethnic profiles of Australian TV ads.  The authors, two female university humanities academics, took virtuous umbrage that “people from culturally diverse backgrounds are not only under-represented, but they are also misrepresented in television advertising”.  This, they deemed, was evidence of knuckle-dragging, racist disrespect for “Australia’s cultural richness” (their term of choice, which rather gives their game away). 

Our woke dons note that 95.5 per cent of ad actors were ‘White/Caucasian’ compared to their demographic proportion of 85 per cent of the general population. You might think this is no big deal because the over-representation of ‘White/Caucasians’ is relatively minor (just ten percentage points) but you would be wrong, you white supremacist you, because every single category of ‘People of Colour’ (in the woke vernacular) can be shown to be not just under-represented but grossly under-represented.

The authors arrived at this conclusion through the statistical subterfuge of presenting what are quite minor absolute percentage differences for minorities (in the low single digits) as vastly bigger relative percentage differences. This is the same statistical scam that was pulled off by Big Pharma and its government accomplices when presenting the initial clinical trial results of the experimental mRNA COVID vaccines as being 95 per cent effective (in relative percentage terms) rather than their absolute percentage terms showing an efficacy (for prevention of infection and transmission) of less than 1 per cent, an indictment of the failed mRNA jabs eventually acknowledged by all COVID authorities.

The 2005 survey of TV AdLand similarly overegged the statistical pudding. Aborigines, for example, appeared in 0.4 per cent of ads, a barely noticeable 1.6 percentage points shy, in absolute terms, of their actual population proportion (at the time) of 2.0 per cent. For those on the perpetual lookout for ‘racism’, this can portrayed, in relative terms, as a whopping 80 per cent shortfall.  So, too, by choosing relative rather than absolute percentage terms, ‘Black/Africans’ can be portrayed as being seriously short-changed in TV ads by 83 per cent, Asians by 50 per cent and Indians by 60 per cent, giving a total shortfall for all people from a ‘non-dominant culture’ of a horrendously racist 70 per cent. This is not a good start for the fevered proponents of ‘systemic racism’ in AdLand because the minority proportions in both TV ads and population demographics actually align pretty well.

Has that stopped our woke overlords from assiduously unearthing racism in TV ads?  Of course not! In 2017, another ‘ethnic diversity’ analysis of 4,156 TV ads broadcast in Australia found “three in four Aussie TV ads feature all white casts” whilst just 19 per cent were mixed (‘Caucasian’ and ‘non-Caucasian’) and “only 5 per cent feature no Caucasian talent at all”.  This is “shocking” and “damning”, say the authors (Ebiquity Ad Monitoring in partnership with SBS – well, it would be SBS, wouldn’t it).  Haven’t we just learnt, however, that some 85 per cent of Australians are ‘White/Caucasian?  So 75 per cent all-white casting would actually seem to be short-changing this group (who, in the eyes of the perpetually woke probably deserve their reverse discrimination to make up for poison flour, diseased blankets and white colonial genocide).

Although Australian marketers are making valiant efforts to end the invented scourge of racism on the TV screen, they have some considerable way to go compared to the Great Leap Forward achieved in woke TV advertising in Blighty.  A Channel 4 YouGov study of one thousand television adverts shown in 2019 in the UK found that “Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic” ( BAME) representation had well and truly overcorrected, with fully 37 per cent of ads “featuring black people, though they make up only about 3 per cent of the British population”.

America, too, is beset by woke ads, as per the video collation below:

Australian TV is catching up, however, as the results of my home-brewed 2022 TV ad survey indicate.  

My survey

My amateur, back-of-the-envelope sampling of 474 ads found:

♦ 4 per cent of ads featured mixed ethnicities in which white people shared always-congenial billing with various shades of non-whites

♦ 5 per cent were all-white

♦ 3 per cent were all-black

♦ 7 per cent were all-Asian

♦ 4 per cent were all-Aboriginal

♦ 8 per cent were other non-white (Middle Eastern, North African. The hijabs are a giveaway)

For the record, the hardest-done-by minority, at a pathetic 0.03%, were Transylvanian vampires. So, at least for those of us without a fear of crucifixes and sunlight, we have come a long, long way in the from when 95 per cent of Australian TV-ad actors were white and three-quarters of ads featured only all-white casts.  Now, only a third of Australian TV ads are all-white. True, Australia has been ‘culturally enriched’, as they say, by a further period of mass, non-white immigration but the migration levels have been nowhere near enough to plunge the ‘White-Caucasian’ demographic share of the Australian population into the low-thirties percentage region.  Woke ads on our TV screens, it is clear, are growing with more escape velocity than an exponential COVID death tally in an Imperial College model.

Driving this woke front is not, therefore, demography but woke ideology running amok in corporate boardrooms.  ‘Bugger demographic fact, let’s over-compensate on the diversity casting to avoid the woke pitchfork mob’, must be how their thinking goes. And also, ‘Let’s emphasise our anti-racist dedication while we’re at it by, say, including lots of actors of conspicuously African origin with Afro-hairdos – because nothing says ‘Australia’ like the ubiquitous tonsorial presence of frizzy hair. This exaggerated inclusiveness is probably what gets taught in (woke) marketing courses and MBAs these days.

Marketing outfits and their clients justify their woke conversion by saying that diverse advertising is essential to the corporate bottom-line.  “Australian brands face boycotts if they don’t address diversity in ads”, claims one such marketer. They “need to include diversity in their advertising or face consumer dissatisfaction”, reports the Adobe Diversity in Advertising survey.  This survey claims that “diversity in advertising is important to 62 per cent of Australians” and that “56 per cent of people surveyed say that lack of diversity would impact their perception of a brand”. Moreover, whilst  “nearly a quarter of consumers are more likely to purchase products and services from brands with diverse advertisements … one in five Australians have boycotted a brand because they feel it lacks diversity”. Therefore, “if advertisers don’t address these consumer concerns, they face alienating the audience and creating a lack of trust”.

Really?  Either the Long March of Woke has genuinely penetrated deep into the population hinterland or respondents are giving the expected woke response to a woke survey, quite possibly to avoid being seen as another of those horrible racists. Their real-world commitment to a purchasing decision may be another matter entirely. The Adobe survey itself finds that only 20 per cent of Australians (probably the already diverse and their vanguard virtuous white allies) actively engage in a boycott of products and services that are advertised with insufficient woke zeal. That leaves 80 per cent who couldn’t give a fig at the practical level – as long as it tastes OK and is on special, they’re good, would be their operative principle.

Indeed, this mooted boycott business cuts both ways. TV ads intent on loudly meeting approved woke criteria might actually be cruelling their own pitch by alienating their biggest target market (white, Anglo-Saxon legacy Australians, what we once might have called dinky-di Australians). Never, however, underestimate the ability of modern corporations, especially those operating within the woke zeitgeist, to sabotage their own commercial success by embracing the diversity fetish at all costs, even that of profitability. Think of Gillette’s recent  and insane — there is no other word for it — ad campaign which sought to sell razors to men by telling them how generally awful, stupid and violent  they are. Gillette’s sales are said to be slowly recovering from the backlash, but ‘go woke, go broke’ remains in effect. In case you’ve forgotten Gillette’s dalliance with ostentatious self-harm, the ad is pasted below.

If the hit-you-over-the-head woke make-over of Australian TV ads is a metric for the dismembering of Western civilisation before the high altar of multi-culti diversity, then the great woke quest to turn those ‘non-dominant cultures’ in the wicked white West into the ‘dominant’ culture is well on track. That can only happen, mind you, when a country is intent on losing its unique national identity and cultural heritage.

As for me, after studying all those TV ads, I definitely need to detox with some help from the defiantly non-woke Quadrant (also recommended for recovering from the TV programs sporadically shown between all the ads).

20 thoughts on “And Now a Woke Word from Our Sponsor…

  • Warwick Lewis says:

    I’m not a real mathematician.
    But I only get 31% out of those figures.

    There is also the questionable frequency of self promotional advertising.
    I seriously believe that the airtime promotion of programs featuring woke agendas is well above the expected.

    I believe the appropriate Latin phrase for all of this is “ad” nueseum.

  • Katzenjammer says:

    Showing stereotyped ethnicities is both woke and racist.

  • Solo says:

    I don’t watch any TV at all. I might watch pre-2010 movies on Netflix occasionally. Youtube has ads blocked by adblockers, same as social media. No ads for me.

    • lbloveday says:

      I watched Top Gun Maverick last week, Time to Die last year (with 007 as a female homosexual!); apart from that my 1,000+ old movies on DVD keep me entertained. Watching about 4 a week means I’d repeat every 5 years – favourites get a re-run yearly or so. Watch some Fox News programs mainly while exercising. Radio
      Missus watches series on NetFlix (one had 80-odd episodes) and uses YouTube for solo line-dancing.

  • Ceres says:

    Great article that resonates with many.
    I cringe at this obvious social engineering and wherever possible will avoid that product. I applaud when there is NO diversity in an ad . After Cadbury went halal have never touched it again and their ad above is the last straw. Ramming all these non dominant fringe cultural aspects down young kids throats ensures that even more future “graduates” will be on board with all this wacko brainwashing.
    It’s a curse also in tv dramas where this ‘inclusiveness ‘ is absurd. Look at the recent film of Anne Boleyn which is played by a black actress. It’s more that nauseating. Hopefully go woke go broke will prevail.

  • GaryR says:

    Thanks for the catharsis. I have found myself getting increasingly annoyed by this phenomenon. As the Gillette case – and the slogan about woke/broke – shows, it is certainly not being driven by the profit motive. That should provide hope for a correction, but the woke force is so strong in the younger generation, having been instilled at school and intellectualised at University, that I can’t see that happening. On the contrary! But given that commercial TV has very little on it worth watching along with the interruptions from any form of ad break, the solution is simple.

  • andersondon450 says:

    More than half the people who claim to be aboriginal are indistinguishable on sight from being white.
    Classifying people as white by sight in TV advertisements therefore undercounts the aboriginals in them.

  • Adelagado says:

    “5 per cent were all-white”. “Now, only a third of Australian TV ads are all-white.”


  • STD says:

    Pornographic – is obscene- is shocking. Where does this place the action atop this page?
    Oh yuk, it’s almost as revolting as looking at a head shot of ‘Bob Hawke’.

  • DougD says:

    “this mooted boycott business cuts both ways. ” I stopped buying Liddell products when they stopped selling Coon cheese. A small protest but …

  • Geoff Sherrington says:

    Advertising is expensive. Who is paying for this woke stuff?

  • Ian MacDougall says:

    “As for me, after studying all those TV ads, I definitely need to detox with some help from the defiantly non-woke Quadrant…” Careful, now Phil; careful.! The antonym of ‘woke’ would have to be ‘unwoke,’ as in a community or nation of robotic and obedient and culturally ‘conservative’ sleepwalkers. Not necessarily so good for business-as-usual (BAU). Here at Quadrant it is in-house policy to judge all the propositions of science, not by reason, but rather by their effect on BAU. Thus have been generated the Ostrich Schools of Climatology, Epidemiology, and no doubt in time the Ostrich School of Whatever-comes-next-ology.

  • john mac says:

    Thankyou for doing the heavy lifting Phil . I thought to document all the woke ads i saw switching channels but it was overwhelming . Ad after ad of africans front and centre , cartoon ads also brown skin dominant , and the tone !? Sanctimony on steroids ! This is subliminal indoctrination for all those under 40 , when they see such benign behaviour , when reality is news reports deliberately suppressing skin colour in crime stories , the suggestion that it is white males who are doing all the domestic violence, and the alphabet community are oppressed saints . Civilisation has hit it’s nadir (though i know it will get worse) and only an event of biblical proportions may right the listing ship that is the west.

  • Ken McNamara says:

    I’m a real mathematician.
    Heck, I’m a real statistician and data scientist, too.

    You really don’t understand how to assess percentages.

    You really don’t understand how the assessment of vaccine effectiveness is driven by the costs.

    You should really talk to someone who understands this…..

  • pmprociv says:

    Thanks, Phil, especially for revealing your feelings about that revolting Medibank Private ad; it induces so much nausea in us that my wife and I are seriously considering changing to another health insurer — although they might all be heading down the same track.
    And, as andersondon450 (6 comments up) has noted, your stats have been invalidated by ignoring the fact that many (most?) urban indigenes have pale skin, so would be unrecognisable visually; it’s more than just about skin colour, you know? (BTW, whatever happened to Albo’s Afro-American basketball star who was going to enlighten us about The Indigenous Voice?)

  • padraic says:

    A great and timely article and comments. One good thing out of it for me is that my lipid levels had gone down substantially since I have been off chocolates and there has been an infinitesimal increase in the electricity bill since switching from manual razors to an electric razor. I wonder what would be the results of a survey into the denziens of the ad world by checking out their sexual preferences, suburb of abode, skin colour and ethnic origin? It could probably be at either end of the spectrum, given the anti-white racism on one hand and white self loathing on the other. My wife and I still watch TV and are amazed at the changes. The ultimate in woke ads would be a grossly fat female, with less than white skin, and purple short cropped hair, with studs all over her face, wearing thick glasses, pregnant in a tight fitting dress the same colour as the background and with monstrous drooping sleeves and smiling all the time, eating a “hamburger” of fake “meat” while watching a farmer destroying rare earthworms as he plows his paddock

  • padraic says:

    Oops! I forgot tattoos – de rigeur these days.

  • padraic says:

    Having said that, I have no objections to the use of the spectrum of citizens to be used in advertising when that is used to promote a product or a service and not used to virtue signal or by inference to denigrate other members of the community. My previous comments were directed at the latter use of advertising.

  • Brenden T Walters says:

    I will never buy Cadburys again; it would remind me too much of that dreadful photo above. For me, that photo is disgusting.

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