Alright, so I decided to write about this because I wanted to get some opinions on the matter. I clicked on the link and watched the commercial, curious that it seemed to upset so many people.
A Thai transgender group, Thai Transgender Alliance, is very upset over the ad and penned a letter to IKEA, calling the ad “negative and stereotypical” and “a gross violation of human rights.” Then an official from IKEA said, “IKEA has spoken to the group over the telephone and the conversation went very smoothly. We are now drafting a letter in response.”
Here’s what I gathered from the 20-second video entitled “Luem Aeb” (“Forget to Keep Hidden”), which was shown on YouTube and on Bangkok’s trains in December and January. It shows a couple walking into Ikea, a man and a young attractive woman. Once she sees a sale sign, her high-pitched voice deepens and the man is startled and confused. At the end of the video, he runs away from her.
Because it was in a different language, it was hard for me to understand it at first. The ad itself didn’t make a lot of sense to me, but I can see where the Alliance is coming from. Clearly, the woman’s voice deepens, and yes, the man ends up running from her. If it’s because she’s transgendered, it’s not a particularly nice ad. At all.
In the comments sections, some found it “insensitive” while others didn’t understand it or didn’t see what the big deal was. I think if a group of people are being targeted in a negative way, it is a big deal. However, I’m not sure what IKEA’s intention was, since they haven’t released a statement yet. I don’t think it was intended to be so hurtful, but that’s how it turned out, and now it’s becoming a debate amongst readers on other sites with people on both sides of the argument.
What did you think of the ad, Lovelies? Did you find it funny, offensive or in-between?
EDITOR’S NOTE: It looks like they took this video down! Sorry! If you track it down, let us know! – Katie