If the ad above makes your head turn, you’re not alone. This billboard in Sunset Boulevard Los Angeles has sparked much controversy in just the few days of its inception.
The billboard, showing an American soldier embracing his Muslim wife clad in burqa, is the latest outdoor hoarding for SnoreStop sleeping aids. The brand, which sells remedy for snoring problems, has relived its hash-tag #betogether and slogan “keeping you together”, in the most unusual manner.
The ad has received lots of attention on streets as well as social media in only the first few hours, as some people have called it, ‘offensive’, ‘cultural appropriation’ and even a ‘slap on the US army’s face’ while others are impressed by its uniqueness.
In the contrast, SnoreStop explains that the ad symbolizes tolerance. Company further clarified that they lookfor couples that aren’t usually featured in advertisements, and after much search they found US marine Paul Evan and his Muslim girlfriend.
“I did this because I am no stranger to other people’s discrimination,” Paul Evan remarked about the controversy on his Facebook post.
Speculators and advertising scholars claim the campaign ‘an effort to shock the audience into looking at it’.
They further claim that a product that has nothing to do with religion or war, that would still feature a Muslim woman, is actually an indication that the American society has accepted the Muslim women and more importantly, their ‘hijaab’.
Some of the more rational remarks on ADWEEK daily name the ad, ‘excellent’, ‘creative and realistic’ and even ‘absolute opposite of being racist’. The Council on American-Islamic Relations also gave the advertisement a thumbs-up.