The “Lighter Side” of Dark Beer, Humor, Whatever

Thanks to a tweet from legendary BlogHer Samhita– Executive Editor of Feministing.com, I finally got to see the Newcastle beer ad I’ve heard many of you murmur about. Here’s what I thought while and after watching it (in order!):

1) I can’t believe I’m watching an ad about an American-Born-Confused-Desi ;)

2) This is kind of funny!

3) It is much better than most commercials which feature brown themes.

4) Wait, why don’t more people like this ad again?

5) I am now way more favorably disposed towards Newcastle, which is huge, because I hate beer. It looks like the pee of the dehydrated and often tastes like spit, and two nasty bodily fluids are not what I like being reminded of when I’m drinking something.

6a) I don’t feel offended by this.

6b) But, like Samhita my sense of humor is questionable. (At least I’m in good company!)

6c) Proof of questionable taste/sense of humor available here.

Has anyone actually seen this on television? Were you shocked, then awed? How would you rate it? Oh, and if Samhita sounds familiar to you, it may be because Taz profiled her on SM way back in 2006. You can find Samhita on Twitter @desifeminista. You can find us @sepiamutiny, natch. Finally, you can probably still find 50 cent in da club, bottle full of Bub, even if it is no longer 2003.

46 thoughts on “The “Lighter Side” of Dark Beer, Humor, Whatever

  1. I love beer, ale, lager, pilsner, stout etc., and love Newcastle! And this ad is delightfully wickedly cool!! Is that why your curry sucks??!!

  2. Ahhh–alcohol and the Indian–a vexed topic indeed. Weekend. Pondicherry. Beach. Whiskey. It’s been the ruin of some. ;-)

  3. the ad is very funny.

    the beer is extremely good especially when the toon are winning, especially this year when we are back in the prem, and especially this year when we hopefully break 100 points this Saturday.

    the family photo is class. :)

  4. Alright, I don’t get it… Could someone help me out? He’s a white guy who was adopted by an Indian family? Why did they tell him he was born a Kapoor if he’s white?

  5. they should do one for wheat bear. guy’s bumming because he just found out caste is indeed a bar and he gets handed a Schneider Weisse by Winthrop in Cheers.

  6. man, this The Lighter Side of Dark stuff is going to be the final straw for prema. might as well just institutionalize him now.

  7. I think it would have been much funnier if it had been a tight shot of a pint of Newcastle laughing hysterically, then the camera panned out to show a very somber stout shaking its head. Then “The Lighter Side of Dark” came thudding across the screen in big bold letters.

  8. Alright, I don’t get it… Could someone help me out? He’s a white guy who was adopted by an Indian family? Why did they tell him he was born a Kapoor if he’s white?

    It’s you know,a joke. He was adopted, but his family never TOLD him he was adopted (they being the Kapoors apparently) so Sanjay finds out as an adult that he was adopted and feels shocked. Joke being, he is obviously white and they are obviously Indian, yet he didn’t figure it out on his own. So he is “brown” but but white at the same time… like their delicious beer.

  9. He was adopted, but his family never TOLD him he was adopted (they being the Kapoors apparently) so Sanjay finds out as an adult that he was adopted and feels shocked. Joke being, he is obviously white and they are obviously Indian, yet he didn’t figure it out on his own.

    Thanks, got it now. It’s the same joke from the Steve Martin move, “The Jerk”, “You mean I’m going to STAY this color!”

  10. Nurture over nature. Sanjay and his family are so tightly knit that neither one of them cares to notice what he looks like. Identification with the family is deep as a certain US Representative puts it it is within the soul!

  11. i love it! (or should i say – i lowe it) it’s quite a clever ad, actually, and keeps on building. the last line is golden.

  12. It made me chuckle. But for some reason when they guy has this devastated look on his face as he says “Is this why your curry’s so bad?” I started cracking up.

    I’m glad my curry is actually good. My friends don’t have to suffer the disappointment.

  13. He was adopted, but his family never TOLD him he was adopted (they being the Kapoors apparently)

    I still did not get it. Did they tell him he was born Kapoor? or not born Kapoor, lf the family is Kapoors? Sorry for being dense.

  14. Enjoyed the ad. As a parent of five, three adopted from India who are now in their 20s and 30s, I found it quite amusing. I’m sending it on to my kids and to friends who’ve also adopted from India.

  15. Seriously? What is there not to get here??

    He was raised with a family. He always assumed that he was born into the family. We are watching the moment where he finds out that wasn’t so.

    Is it the white guy named Sanjay thats confusing you here?

  16. Did they tell him he was born Kapoor? or not born Kapoor, lf the family is Kapoors?

    they told him he was not born a kapoor. the implication is that he was born into another family, and adopted by the kapoor family. they never told him that he was adopted, so it comes as a shock when they tell him he was not born a kapoor, because he concludes he is not their biological son. the whole thing is farcical because he is white, and they are brown, so there is no logical way that he could be their biological son in the first place. so to make sense of this he must have thought he was brown his whole life, so not only does he realize that he is not the biological son of mr. & mrs. kapoor, he now realizes he is white and not brown.

    hope my exegesis clears it up.

  17. Cool!

    I find it strange that some people don’t get it. But he does sorta mumble when he says “You weren’t born a Kapoor”, so I think that might be confusing some people here.

  18. It’s like me when I lived and worked in California thinking that I am Chinese. These confusions happen.

    Also,Manju @13:

    one sunny day i forgot my umbrella so my aunt made me drink 5 India Pale Ales”

    That’s the ad planned for Zee TV.

  19. what i do think is hilarious is type “brown” to prevent spam. and i also think the newcastle team has great cheek to take on their brand manager. awesome.

  20. Also.

    It looks like the pee of the dehydrated and often tastes like spit, and two nasty bodily fluids are not what I like being reminded of when I’m drinking something.

    Dear Lord woman you need to stop drinking Bud Light (or Miller, or Coors, or Amstel, or Heiniken or PBR).

    Get yourself to The Saloon on U Street and order yourself a real bear. It makes me sad to see people who haven’t had good beer. How else would you ever know that God loves us and wants us to be happy?

  21. This is funny to me because I’m a half-Iranian who grew up in a white-skinned Jewish family always wondering why I was more tan every summer than my mom. Since my dad was never around, I could only identify with the Ashkenazi side.

    It’s great having people ask you if you’re adopted when you’re actually not. Adds all sorts of layers of hilarity to the introduction.

    Also, drink real beer people.

  22. The other nice thing about the Saloon (Desi connection) is that the owners take the proceeds from the bar and then take a 3 month vacation each year to build a school in Bangladesh.

  23. I give it a thumbs up. I usually cringe when advertisers use Indian stereotypes but this actually made me smile.

  24. But he does sorta mumble when he says “You weren’t born a Kapoor”, so I think that might be confusing some people here.

    Yeah, I heard “You were born a Kapoor” so the first time I watched it, my brain took off in another direction and got a bit lost.

  25. Ha ha. I have never heard of this beer, but when I laughed out loud when I saw the ad. Cute.

  26. “Newcastle Brown Ale: Sanjay” This video or group may contain content that is inappropriate for some users, as flagged by YouTube’s user community. To view this video or group, please verify you are 18 or older by signing in or signing up.

    WTF?

  27. There are plenty of desi kids who are adopted into white families who get typically western names. I loved this commercial. I saw it during a Red Sox game a few weeks ago and looked for it again to no avail. Raising my bottle of newcastle in a toast!

  28. I have seen this ad many times. At first, I thought it was funny because of the juxtaposition. But by the third time watching it, my stomach clinched at the line “the lighter side of dark” — what it said to me was that being dark skinned was a negative.

  29. what it said to me was that being dark skinned was a negative.

    You’re overthinking it.

  30. I liked the commercials, both of them. I have spent way too much time and energy analyzing commercials over the last 15 years and I know that this commercial was made by competent and talented people. As a “brown person” myself as well as a “white person” I do not take offence to this commercial, however it is only really funny because the whites have dominated. In trying to dominate the world they have made themselves easy to poke fun at by the rest of the world. Also many uneducated white people in Britain and the U.S. have no clue as to what Caucasian means, they just think it’s a synonym for White European, and they don’t realize that there are non-white Caucasians. The commercial would be much less funny if it was reversed, at least to this audience. It is still well written/well executed despite any racial undertones. Also the “Lighter Side of Dark” slogan is a reference to the beer, being a lighter tasting (commercial) dark ale, as well as the advert itself being in the style of “light” dark humour.