Apr6200912:28 pm

Foreign exchange students = tasty

A colleague here in DC reported last week on a Nestea ad he saw at a bus stop that went like this:

Tasty and foreign, like we bottled an exchange student.

He didn’t get a picture, and a quick Google search didn’t yield anything. While traipsing around with the Ridiculous Crowds this weekend to get a look at the Cherry Blossoms, I kept an eye peeled but also to no avail. But then, another Google search today struck pay dirt. Flickr user poza1 posted this:

Other reported sightings of the ad: a New York Ave. bus stop in DC and bus stops in Baltimore as well. (Anyone seen them anywhere else? More quick Google searches show that the new Nestea campaign is running in “all global markets,” though that doesn’t mean this particular ad is everywhere.)

A few initial reactions to the ad range from the incredulous (”WTF??”) to the outraged (”Exotification is the fun way to be racist”) to the cheeky (”Desperate play for the cannibal market”) to the humorously literal (”If I were an exchange student I’d be somewhat alarmed”). In the end, I can’t see how what is clearly goofiness can be construed as racist. Stupid or ineffective? You might think so, and you could make a strong case. Racist? That’s stretching things a bit far. Honestly, anything that helps heighten the American consciousness that the presence of foreign exchange students in our country is “tasty” (i.e., desirable) is in my mind a good thing.

UPDATE (4/28/09): I caught my first live siting of this ad today, from the window of the #32 bus going north up Wisconsin Avenue NW—the ad was on the side of a bus stop shelter just north of Glover Park, the first or second stop up from Calvert St.

Tags: ,

Categories: The World at Work | Follow responses via RSS | Pinging not allowed.

2 Responses to “Foreign exchange students = tasty”

  1. Rita says:

    I think it’s awful — sounds sexist — objectifies exchange students and turns them into a commodity. It’s demeaning. ( I was one when I first came to the US). If I could figure who to write a letter to I would!

  2. Lena says:

    I dont think this is racist, sexist or demeaning. Its funny. I’m an foreign exchange student myself in NY and i drove by this sign in Washington DC, and i started laughing when i saw it, it is hilarious. I can see how some people think it objectifies exchange students, but honestly, we’re like everyone else and i’m pretty sure most of us will take this as a joke and laugh at it. I couldn’t stop lanughing the first time i saw it, but i didn’t get a picture so i “googled” it and found this arcticle.
    ITS SO FUNNY!!!!
    Lena – Norway

Leave a Reply