Saturday, June 1, 2013

Eleven Non-Racist Product Commercials That Include Black People

Edited by Azizi Powell

There are a lot of online articles & YouTube videos about product ads that negatively portray Black people. However, it's far more difficult to find a listing of and information about product commercials that positively portray Black people. This post presents such a list in video form.

Seven of these featured non-racist ads that include Black people are from the 1970s, one is from the 1980s, two are from 2005, and one is from 2013.

That so many of these ads were produced & aired during the 1970s may be explained by the fact that that decade in the United States was one of emerging Black pride & the beginning of a greater acceptance of the concept of multiculturalism. Furthermore, the very popular Black dance program Soul Train provided opportunities to promote various products marketed to African Americans. At least two of these ads from the 1970s - the Afro Sheen commercials - were aired on that series. The Ultra Sheen commercial may also have been aired on Soul Train.

The 2013 Cheerios' commercial is noteworthy not only because it is creative & the little girl in it is adorable, but also because it features an interracial family with a Black father & a White mother. That commercial elicited such a firestorm of hateful comments from White racists that the Cheerios corporation or YouTube blocked the comment feature on that official video.

If you like that ad, and the other ads I showcased, show them your support by "liking" them on YouTube, whether you like or you choose to buy their products or not. (Come to think of it are Afro Sheen & Ultra Sheen still on sale?)

Note: I'm sure that these aren't the only positive television ads that include Black people.

Please help me identify more ads such as these from the United States & elsewhere.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

(These commercials are presented in chronological order based on the decade or year that the ad was first aired on television. These ads are not presented in order of preference, although I'll admit that Example #1 is my favorite among this group.)

Example #1: You're never too old for Kool Aid (1970's)

Uploaded by CineGraphic on Jan 30, 2010

"From the early 70's, a unique commercial for it's time.
Commercials depicting African Americans in suburban settings were ground-breaking at the time."

Example #2: Afro Sheen Ad 5 (1970s)

randimay21Uploaded on Sep 20, 2010

Example #3: Afro Sheen Ad 6 (1970s)

randimay21 Uploaded on Oct 22, 2010

"The hawk is out to get you!"

Example #4: Ultra Sheen TV AD (1970s)

TheThunderSilent, Uploaded on Jan 3, 2012

From the 70s.

Example #5: Black Tie TV AD (1970s)

TheThunderSilent, Uploaded on Jan 3, 2012

A young Iman in this 1970s commercial advertisement for Black Tie men's cologne.

Example #6:
[Pancocojams Editor:
The video that was originally presented in this post as #6 was entitled Avon 1970's commercial (1970s), published by skipeastport, Uploaded on Mar 14, 2010. Unfortunately, that link no longer works. Here's the summary that was included with that video:
"A new you" Avon ad from the mid-70's. Dig those flowing fashions on the women. Nice attempt by Avon to appeal to the African American market.

Here's a replacement video for Example #6- a Jax's Beer commercial from the 1930s or 1940s. The title of this film indicates that it is the first Black commercial in America.

First black commercial ever in america

msmedaghri, Published on Apr 28, 2009

Example #7: Coca-Cola Classic ad: Mean Joe Green [Full Version] (1979)

stiggerpao, Uploaded on Jul 17, 2007

One of the famous Coca-Cola commercial in history featuring Mean Joe Green in 1979.

Example #8: Vintage 80's McDonald's Double Dutch Ad (1980s)

tracy80sgirl, Uploaded on Jul 29, 2009

Sadly, I can only skip a single rope. But what a feelgood McDonald's commercial!

Example #9: McDonald's Happy Meal Ad Cha Cha Slide (long version) (2005)

lttsrh, Uploaded on Sep 19, 2007


Example #10: XBoX 360 - Jump In (2005)

napalmdest, Uploaded on Apr 23, 2006

Xbox 360 commercial

Example 11: 'Just Checking': Cheerios' Commercial [HD]

cheerios, Published on May 28, 2013

Share some Cheerios with the person closest to *your* heart.
This commercial elicited a firestorm of racist comments because the family was interracial. Despite that hate, Camille Gibson, vice president of marketing for Cheerios, issued this statement: "Consumers have responded positively to our new Cheerios ad. At Cheerios, we know there are many kinds of families and we celebrate them all."

Thanks to the producers of these commercials. Thanks also to those featured in the commercials & their publishers on YouTube.

Thank you for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.


  1. In a discussion on another forum about the hateful comments posted by racist who were angry about the interracial family in the Cheerio's commercial, someone posted that the younger generation is more color-blind than older people. Here's my response:
    "I appreciate your sentiment regarding "color blind" being a desired goal, BUT- well, this quote says it better than I could:
    Colorblind Ideology is a Form of Racism

    A colorblind approach allows us to deny uncomfortable cultural differences.

    Published on December 27, 2011 by Monnica T. Williams, Ph.D. in Culturally Speaking

    ..."Many Americans view colorblindness as helpful to people of color by asserting that race does not matter (Tarca, 2005). But in America, most underrepresented minorities will explain that race does matter, as it affects opportunities, perceptions, income, and so much more. When race-related problems arise, colorblindness tends to individualize conflicts and shortcomings, rather than examining the larger picture with cultural differences, stereotypes, and values placed into context. Instead of resulting from an enlightened (albeit well-meaning) position, colorblindness comes from a lack of awareness of racial privilege conferred by Whiteness (Tarca, 2005). White people can guiltlessly subscribe to colorblindness because they are usually unaware of how race affects people of color and American society as a whole...

    Blind means not being able to see things. I don't want to be blind. I want to see things clearly, even if they make me uncomfortable"...

    1. In other words, being color blind or thinking that you are color-blind can be both harmful & dangerous for People of Color & for White people in a world that is definitely not post-racial.