‘South Asian moms are the worst kind of liars!’

No, I didn’t say that. Nor do I subscribe to that view (no self-respecting South Asian would). But if a piece of specially ‘ethnicized’ communication from a telecommunication company in Canada is to be believed, South Asian moms have a strong, almost pathological, proclivity to lie to their offspring. At the drop of a hat…too. Now nobody is claiming that some individuals don’t lie, ethnicity, race, color no bar. Some practitioners of creative thought may even argue that IF it adds to the flavor of communication – brings out humour etc. – a human aberration such as an individual lying shamelessly, could be an interesting a/v tool. Is that the case here? Nopes! No laughs. Not even a tickle. Just one Indian mother lying repeatedly to her college son on trivial issues. After her 3rd sequential attempt at it, it seems she just can’t stop (pity her family). And so committed is the scripter to bring out this South Asian affinity for lying, that s/he makes the mom commit an absolute social hara kiri: she ends lying to her son that his father had cooked his favorite dish for him (flashback shows it was actually a takeaway). Since when is a typical South Asian father known to cook for his children? And even if some Indian dad in some part of the world may be doing it occasionally, it’s not a cultural given. Couldn’t the scripter have thought of some other instance of projecting his product use?

All in all, if this communication was designed to resonate with the intended market (that’s the only way to justify the moneys spent on its production, which btw are quite slick), then this concept designer has a lot to answer for. Interestingly, I had the occasion to watch the ‘mainstream’ ad of this same advertiser and…well nothing seemed amiss. The ‘mainstream’ family depicted come through as typical with a slightly atypical little daughter who knows enough about mobile telephony to be able to change her mom’s relationship status on her social media page. Quiet smile! With no harm done and no sensibilities offended. Why then was this special treatment reserved for poor South Asians?

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