Advertising For Bounce TV — Is It Racial Segregation?
Over the past few days I’ve been seeing advertisements for the new Bounce TV “TV Our Way” channel, a free, over the airways TV network designed for and managed by black Americans.
But when seeing the advertisements and looking at the channel’s slogan, isn’t the advertising a bit like segregation and apartheid? It lets you know who the target audience is in a very clear and direct method.
Now don’t get me wrong here. I don’t have any problems with certain TV channels being geared towards certain races, beliefs or organizations. What people want to do with their own time and money is up to them. When it comes to watching TV, if I don’t like a particular show or channel, then the remote allows me to continue channel surfing.
But when a company (or TV network in this case) advertises itself as a channel by black people for black people (including the semi-arrogant slogan “TV Our Way”), isn’t that borderline racism towards the black audience? Couldn’t they have used any other way to advertise the new TV network without getting into a person’s race?
Take a look at one of the TV commercials and see for yourself. More of them will be shown and discussed in just a moment.
Bounce TV promotional campaign
The Bounce TV advertisement is reaching for its target audience, which as mentioned before is black people in general. Specifically, the channel is targeting black people between 25-54 years of age with its programming. But to go out and publicly advertise the fact that it’s a black TV channel designed for black viewers, that race-related method is the subject of this discussion.
Bounce TV promotional campaign – Martin Luther King III
Up first we have Martin Luther King III telling us that when he was a kid, there weren’t many black people on TV. They were a large part of the American society at that time, just not really seen on TV. He lets us know that today there are channels designed for African-Americans and he is “extremely proud” that this new network is one of them.
He didn’t mention anything about the type of shows or quality of programming. MLK III only talked about how there weren’t many black people on TV when he was younger, but now black TV channels are finally developing. That advertisement implies that it’s ALL about SKIN COLOR.
Being related to a famous civil rights leader from the 1960s, I wonder if MLK III has the same proud feelings for the Hispanic TV channels popping up on the airways. Using the logic in this Bounce TV promotion, the same feelings towards the black TV networks should also apply to the Hispanic channels, too.
Bounce TV promotional campaign – Judge Hatchett
This Bounce TV promotion starts with Judge Hatchett talking about famed civil rights poet Maya Angelou and about how people never forget about how you made them feel. She then switches and talks about television, talking about characters and stories. So far, so good. At the end of the advertisement, Judge Hatchett introduces herself, “. . . and this is TV our way.”
And just whom are you referring to, Judge Hatchett, about the TV being “our” way? Am I included?
Bounce TV promotional campaign – Chilli
This next promotion for Bounce TV stars Rozonda Thomas (a.k.a. Chilli) of the R&B group TLC. After asking us what makes a TV network worth watching, Chilli tells us about how she loves movies. From the stories to the characters to the stars, she loves movies. That’s great. I love movies, too. At the end she throws in the “This is TV our way.”
Once again we’re hit with the mysterious “our way” slogan for the TV channel.
Bounce TV promotional campaign – Kandi Burruss
Kandi Burruss begins this Bounce TV commercial talking about funny movies and what makes them funny. She then lists a bunch of her favorite movie star comedians. The thing in common with all the comedians — they’re all black. Kandi then finishes the promotion with, “. . . and this is TV our way.”
Chilli’s promotion of the TV channel was more universal until she hit the end, whereas Kandi’s version of the promotion gave a great big hint when she mentioned all of the black comedian movie stars. Am I to assume that we won’t see Jeff Foxworthy on this network?
Bounce TV promotional campaign – former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young
This last promotion for Bounce TV stars former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young. He begins by stating that he’s proud to be associated with Bounce TV, “. . . the first African-American network that’s available free [he puts emphasis on that word] over the air for everyone.” Mayor Young then goes on to tell us about the network that features ” . . . more of our movies, more of our stories, and more of ourselves.” The former mayor of Atlanta then introduces himself and concludes with the same “this is TV our way” closing as everybody else.
Mayor Andrew Young talks a lot about our this and our that, but he doesn’t exactly specify whom he’s talking about. I’ll just assume that’s more of the political-style of talking that he did back in the 1970s and 1980s.
After watching those promotions and visiting the website, it’s safe to say that the general impression is that the TV channel was designed for middle-aged black people. Some of the people in the promotions said it directly, while others referred to it that way indirectly.
As it was mentioned before, I really don’t care how TV channels orient their programs for their target audience. It’s the method of advertising that Bounce TV is using that has a very racist feeling to it.
So why does the company come out and flatly state that this is a black TV channel designed for black people?
More importantly, why isn’t the media and every civil rights union screaming about how other races are being excluded from the advertising for this channel? Imagine the social uproar if the advertising was reversed and this was a white TV channel designed for white people. If such a thing did occur, that TV channel would never find advertising and quickly drop to obscurity. But since this is a black TV channel advertising itself as such and calling out to black people, apparently it’s okay.
Double standards anyone?
Anyone at all?
All of the promotions for Bounce TV are straight from YouTube.
For more information about Bounce TV, please visit the network’s website at www.BounceTV.com