“Mama’s making Kan Tong, it doesn’t take long for the word to spread around.” – jingle in Kantong advertisements.
For those who don’t know, Kantong is a 30-year old Australian brand of Asian cooking sauces manufactured by Master Foods. It makes it real easy to cook Asian-style cuisine – stir-fry the vegetables, brown the meat and pour in the sauce.
Juji did a piece about Kantong which is related to what I wrote about the portrayal of Asian culture in local advertising in a previous post, “Of 7-Eleven, Kwik-E Mart and Apu“. Except she did it in art form.
Check it out, and click on the image to enlarge it for the hidden meaning. 😉
And while doing the research for this post, I stumbled across a Metafilter discussion about an ad which Kantong ran a couple of years ago. It’s a parody of wacky Japanese/Taiwanese TV ads using a mish-mash of stuff: the actors are Vietnamese-Australians (the guy is Hung Le, a comedian) who speak Vietnamese, the flashing words are Chinese with no meaning to the ad or product whatsoever, and the product is Australian.
images via: CultureBuzz
Some commentators on the MeFi thread saw racism, while some said it was a clever parody. I’m in the latter group. I’ve seen Hung Le’s act and that’s one of his favourite topics – ridiculing the more absurb aspects of Asian culture but in a good-hearted way. When my family first saw this ad, we all thought it was hilarious. Like I’ve said before, racial comedy can be really funny when done right.