April 22, 2011

Banania Revisited

Taken at a deli in Montreal, March 2008. Banania is a French hot cocoa-type mix containing banana flour. The logo in its many incarnations has always been a subject of controversy, accused of perpetuating negative stereotypes. It's been around since 1912 -- I wonder if there are any special plans for its 100th anniversary next year.

I was quite surprised to see a vintage Banania poster at the French restaurant Aux Bacchanales in Shinagawa. But then, perhaps this is all too far removed for the Japanese to see it as an issue.

Also in the photo is actress Scarlett Johansson's Moët & Chandon ad. Why a company would go to the trouble of paying millions for an actor spokesperson and then go on to Photoshop all of the distinctiveness out of them is beyond me. (Witness Zooey Deschanel's recent Rimmel ad. I would sue.) Johansson here looks like a common "hot girl".

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