I'm way late to this video, and man, it's bad. It was made in 2009 for The Red House in North Carolina where they're main selling point is that their furniture is for everyone no matter their race. It's a ridiculous concept on the surface but there is a reason this commercial was made. Let's learn something.

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There are three main local businesses that will put out some of the most over the top commercials; lumber stores, furniture stores and car lots. Some are ridiculously good, some ridiculously bad. The above commercial falls into that bad of the bad category. It's from a real furniture store in North Carolina, The Red House. The base premise of the ad is that your race doesn't matter when it comes to shopping their store.

They showcase this by the racial diversity that works at the store and the diversity of their customers. It doesn't matter what color you are, you will find this couch comfortable. It's cringe worthy. However, this may have done on purpose.

The commercial was done as part of a promotion through YouTubers Rhett and Link. A very funny duo, check out their videos. It was done through their initiative I Love Local Commercials Series. This video was done in 2009 so I don't know if this initiative still exists.

The commercial was a joint effort with Rhett and Link and The Red House according to their YouTube description. They wanted to make a comical advertisement using race that would both be positive but also a conversation starter. It will certainly make you laugh.

By the way, The Red House is a real business in High Point, North Carolina. Visit their website at redhousefurniture.com. To be honest, with all this knowledge I've gained on this awful commercial, I kinda want to shop there now.

Here's the full description of the making of this video from YouTube:

We knew this video was going to be controversial. Anytime race is discussed in any capacity, controversy ensues. The racial reconciliation concept was a joint effort between the Red House staff and us. They pointed out the fact that their employees and customer base were like the "Rainbow Coalition", and we thought something with a comical racial reconciliation theme would be fun, as well as a conversation starter.

 

For those of you who think this video is racist, we'd like you to distinguish between "racist" and "racial". Racism is "hatred or intolerance of another race or other races." Racial is "of, relating to, or based on a race". This video is very obviously racial as opposed to racist. This video doesn't promote or feature hatred or intolerance. Rather, it's the very opposite. This commercial promotes inclusion and reconciliation, if not in a comical way. To point out the obvious, the irony in this video is that it's completely ridiculous for people to relate furniture to their race. People of all colors are welcome at the Red House, which is something that is taken for granted today, but there was a time in the not-so-distant past during which things as simple as a water fountain were NOT for everyone.

 

If Saturday Night Live, Mad TV, or Dave Chappelle for that matter, were to address racial issues in a comical way (something that they all do VERY regularly), they would have pushed the envelope MUCH further.

 

Discussing race in the US is taboo. It always makes people feel uncomfortable. We think it's a shame that someone saying "I'm white" or "I'm black" creates such a stir. There are real cultural identities within different people groups, and these things should be celebrated and embraced, not swept under the rug.

 

This video is an attempt to use humor to spark a discussion about race issues, because we still have a long way to go.

 

Rhett&Link

 

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