March 01, 2010

Orange you glad...

…the generous bleeding hearts at Tropicana Canada deigned to shed some light on the joyless, dim souls who, for some mysterious reason, choose to inhabit Canada's Arctic? I sure am.

A production crew hired by the orange juice giant filmed this commercial here in Inuvik the second week of January, a few days before the town's annual Sunrise Festival as part of Tropicana's new ad campaign, which launched last week. In the past few days it's aired on national TV networks, enjoyed a prominent spot on the Globe and Mail's website and garnered thousands of views on YouTube and Facebook, where it's sparked delightfully "bright" comments, including:

"Great Commercial, loved it. I wonder if this is the first time those eskimos ever tasted Tropicana."

"Wow!! Truly Amazing!!! The look and smile on their faces will illumate their community until the real sunshine returns...Great campaign Tropicana!!!! The only OJ I drink!!!!"

"really great ... it's the caring efforts that mean the most ... especially to our far-north neighbours who have so little. Kudos Tropicana. Nicely done!"

"well isn't that nice of you,s too do that"

Isn't it, though? All of those poor, uncivilized shmucks* looked so happy when the Tropicana truck rolled in. It's almost as if they were being paid hundreds of dollars (plus royalties) to glance up and stare in awe for a few seconds at a fairly ridiculous inflatable orb that finally, yet intermittently, glowed. Oh, wait. That's exactly what happened.

I suppose it doesn't really matter that the sun actually rose – albeit briefly – for the first time in a month just before 2 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2010, proving false the commercial's claim that Jan. 8 was Day 31 without sunlight in Inuvik until Tropicana lit up the town. But, that's a tiny detail, not something the entire premise of the ad was based upon, right?

And I won't mention the epic condescension in the juxtaposition of the commercial's images and end text. Let me just say: an editorial is brewing.

So. Um. Yeah, thanks so much, Tropicana! Thanks for reminding me stereotypes are alive and well – and apparently orange-fed.

*whom I genuinely love equally as much as the 18-second mark of the commercial.


  1. Katie,

    You read way too much in to what is overall a great marketing tool not only for Tropicana (and they are a good orange juice company - despite their corporate overlord Pepsi ties), but for Inuvik.

    I spent three weeks in Vancouver for the Olympics working at the Aboriginal Pavilion, Northern House and the Northern Arts Tent at the Richmond Live Site - and spoke with literally thousands of 'Southern Canadians' about Inuvik and the North. The level of ignorance was extreme to say the least - most did indeed think that we live in igloos and that it's only 'eskimos' that live here - thoughts that seem to resonately be proven by your 'quotes'.

    The commercial depicted a friendly community, with strong infrastructure, well-maintained roads, beautiful architecture, stunning landscapes, and happy positive people – from all backgrounds – indeed, the ‘lead’ performers wonderfully represented all of our main cultures in Inuvik – the Inuvialuit, the Gwich’in, the Metis and Caucasian. If this is the ‘stereotype’ of Inuvik being portrayed, then it seems to be pretty accurate. It sure beats igloos.

    While certainly entitled to your drastic opinions on this blog site, the fact that you let your extreme personal thoughts flood your recent editorial on the subject screams immaturity and ignorance to the overall picture - and benefits (both financial and educational) to our community. Basing your main argument on what one disaffected 17-year-old girl feels was shortsighted and smacks of desperate journalism designed solely to sell papers. You write for the Inuvik Drum, a community paper - not the National Enquirer!

    Really disappointed - I was a big fan of yours - and thought you were the first 'fair' writer for the Drum in years. I guess I bought into some 'stereotype' of what a good journalist should be - but I guess we all make mistakes.


  2. Thanks for your comment, Tony!

    I hope you'll consider writing a letter to the editor as well.