Winnebagos, Cherokees, Apaches, and Dakotas: The Persistence of Stereotyping of American Indians in American Advertising Brands
Jeep Cherokee, Sue Bee Honey, and Crazy Horse Malt Liquor are all established brand names and trademarks that use representations of Native Americans to help sell their products. How stereotypes are created, and how pictorial metaphors used in advertising perpetuate these beliefs, is the focus of this study. McCracken's Meaning Transfer Model and Barthes's semiotic analysis serve as the framework of this study. The findings, which are important to scholars and practitioners, posit that these images build upon longstanding assumptions about Native Americans by Whites and reinforce an ideology that has resulted in a consumer "blind spot" when it comes to recognizing this form of racism. This study contributes to the scarce literature on representations of American Indians in modern media, providing a framework for understanding why these images persist and why they are problematic.