This commercial for Amp'd mobile aired on television and online in the mid-2000s. The setting appears to be an office bathroom – an Asian male sings quietly in the mirror before breaking into a heavy rap song, thinking he is alone. He stops short when a colleague walks up to wash his hands. The funny video went viral on the Internet.
What are the characteristics of this video that make it a funny ad?
Do you think the fact that the main character is Asian contributes to the humor?
Would it be just as funny with a character from a different ethnicity? Why or why not?
Oftentimes, we find things humorous because they do not match our expectations for what is normal. In this case, the Asian male defies commonly held assumptions that Asians are always mild-mannered and quiet. By breaking from the “Asian type”, the audience finds it funny. The producers of the ad are playing off of what can be thought of as a long-standing but overly-generalized idea of Asian personality.