The image to the right is another somewhat shocking picture I took in my quest to document interesting/quirky (and yes, shocking) things in Taipei. You may wonder what is so shocking about this subway sign compared to the sign posted in a another, earlier post here.
Well, you'd be right to wonder. The image to the left is not at all shocking, actually. It is a heater company that has advertised in Taiwan for some time, selling German heaters in Taiwan. It's quite a nice product, and very practical - with a little rack on top socks and... "unmentionables".
The reason I posted this picture above is to show an improvement in their marketing campaign, actually, when compared to their earlier attempt, listed below..
When I asked a close friend of mine about this new ad to the left, she said that it wasn't offensive or sensitive in the least, and in fact quite effective because it helped customers remember that "it was from Germany"; and besides, "...it wasn't like a lot of Jewish people live in Taiwan."
Now then, this underlines one of the key issues that I've seen in Taiwan, and that I guess exists in much of Asia.
To advertise with this sort of image is to be in ignorance of one of the major villains of our time. To put the villain on a German product is an insult to both Jews and Germans, and even to me (neither) simply because as a citizen on this planet earth, I am loathe to see this.
I wonder if the situation would be different if the furnace was sold in the US (pick your state) from Taiwan, and the man was a Japanese soldier with a Taiwanese head in his hands (Japan ruled Taiwan for sometime). Trust me, there would be protests; as their should be.
I do want to state that the very interesting thing about this advertisement is not that it was done in viciousness towards anyone, many Taiwanese tend to be very open and kind to foreigners. But the fact that most Taiwanese simply don't see anything wrong with it at all makes this pretty bad.