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August 14, 2009 – 11:51 pm | 54 Comments

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Home » Media, Sign Language

Pepsi Super Bowl Ad Exploits Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Submitted by Paula Rosenthal on January 27, 2008 – 10:13 am7 Comments

ABCD in Sign LanguagePepsi’s marketing people recently released a video of their upcoming Super Bowl ad called, Bob’s House. Based on a joke within the culturally deaf community, (as opposed to the hearing impaired community they mentioned in their email) the ad is performed in sign language and elicited a chuckle from me and anyone else I told about it. Unlike many deaf bloggers, I purposely did not post the video online at HearingExchange. Quite honestly, I was put off by the audacity of their strategy for free publicity.

Here’s the email I received from Pepsi’s “people”a few days ago:


I wanted to share with you an innovative advertising spot which will be debuting during the Super Bowl on behalf of Pepsi, who is sponsoring the closed captioning for the game.  Bob’s House is an ad which illustrates a popular joke in the hearing impaired community, and was created and performed by EnAble, a network in PepsiCo which supports diversity and the inclusion of persons with different abilities.  I have included links to the spot, as well as to some behind-the-scenes footage which I think you and your readers will find interesting.    

[Links removed]



Kristin Montalbano | New Media Strategies

[Phone and address removed]

Gosh, wasn’t that nice of them to share their innovative advertising spot with me? Of course me and my readers would find it interesting. But Pepsi, don’t you think you should compensate deaf and hard of hearing bloggers and website owners if they agree to put your ad videos up on their sites for all of their readers to see? Collectively, I’m sure you’ll garner thousands of views from the deaf and hard of hearing community in advance of the Super Bowl. Thus you’ll  be getting the incredible, targeted pre-game buzz you’re looking for.

Oh, but wait, you already did that! Bloggers all over didn’t think twice and posted your clever ad on their sites and blogged about it too. And they did it all for free. Guess Pepsi doesn’t respect us and our advertising power after all. Shame on you, Pepsi.

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