Old Nazi

Over the years, I have found that when itcomes to my intuition, generally speaking, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. That’s why I was surprised that when I googled this Old Navy ad campaign, I came up with nothing.


No. Thing.

Doesn’t anyone besides me see the swastikas splashed all over this ad? Not only are the models posed as human swastikas, individually, but they are also grouped in four-person swastika formation, like a anti-semitic synchronized swim team.

Ironically enough, the ad campaign is entitled “Spot the Difference”, and asks the viewer/reader to compare two seemingly identical photos filled with Old Navy merchandise, a la the “I Spy” books for those who have children of “I Spy” age and “spot” the subtle differences between the two (like, in the top two photos, the girl is carrying a black bag in the photo on the left and a brown bag in the photo on the right).

I, of course, found myself “spotting” the swastikas instead.

In case you weren’t able to spot the swastikas in the photos above, which I saw today while flipping through Glamour Magazine, try your hand at spotting them in the photos below:
I wish I could say that these ads contained even a hint of irony. But I just don’t see it. What I do see are human swastikas depicted in the traditional Nazi colors of red, white and black.

I guess there will be no Hanukah shopping at Old Navy for the Yoga Chickie family. We prefer our swastikas spray painted with malice-apparent, not smiling brightly in the latest in hoodlum-chic mass-marketed youth attire.

Ah, holiday fun. Good times.



9 Responses to Old Nazi

  1. boodiba says:

    Man! Not being sensitized to it, since I’m a (poor) WASP, I’d have never noticed it in the Gap ad, but the Old Navy?

    Really too bad the Nazis corrupted that symbol.

    I remember being shocked to find out that Hitler was a vegetarian, who ate a lot of suger. There’s some yin/yang theories that the lack of the yang of meat with an over abundance of yin can… make people mass murders? Obviously he was an over achiever in dysfunction.

    Still when I hear people talk about how eating meat makes them more aggressive, and they go hippity hopping off in their smug vegginess, I remember the little mustachioed psychopath.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Lauren…bear in mind that jews are well over-represented in the advertising community, based on my personal observations over the years.

    furthermore, there are more people that would be offended by an intentional use of an anti-semitic mark than would enjoy subtle references to white supremacy.

    i think you can discount shop to your heart’s content this season, without supporting nazis.


  3. yoga chickie says:

    Cody – three words: self-hating Jews. Ah, screw it. I can never say just three words. I don’t care who wrote the ad or approved the ad at some ad agency. I don’t care if their name was Goldberg or if their name was Schulz. The swastikas are icky, and that’s putting it mildly.

  4. Julie says:

    Maybe they were Hindu?

    It is so wierd because I just had this big huge discussion at dinner here in Vegas about the swastika. The conversation originated from a discussion that, apparently, Star Wars is really a face on the story of Hitler.

  5. yoga chickie says:

    Yeah…as Linda says, the Nazis corrupted what was previously a harmless, and in fact, auspicious, symbol. But corrupt and fraught with negative emotions it is…now…

    Star Wars? I don’t understand?

  6. Anonymous says:

    there’s so many layers of approval that even a self-hating jewish art director couldn’t slip it through. maybe on some small account somewhere, but not at a big agency for old navy.

    the star wars thing is meant to illustrate a democracy willingly slipping into dictatorship through fear of terrorism.


  7. yoga chickie says:

    Cody – I’ll see you and raise you one: But it DID slip through. Self-hating Jew or not, it did make it to the outside world in a form which I, as a Jew and a human, find offensive.

    Consumers have been offended by many ad campaigms that similarly “slipped through” – Calvin Klein’s kiddie porn in a wood-paneled den, for example.

    Sure, one would think that with many layers of approval, that nothing stupid would ever happen in this world – in the US Government, in big corporations, in school systems. And yet….the Hollywood Blacklist, job discrimination and, oh, a little thing known as segregation.

    Dumb happens, Cody.

    If you don’t believe me, look at the latest Old Navy ad campaign…

  8. Anonymous says:


    What do you think of veg*ns who have not eaten flesh in so long, they have no idea if it makes them more aggressive? Is that a sure sign of Nazism?
    It would be smug for one to think that their veg*nism necessarily prevents the possibility of antisocial behavior. But your suggestion that veg*nism can make people mass murderers is at least as disturbing. Why the question mark after that remark? Because you think this was the claim of the yin/yang theory(s) you cite without reference but you don’t remember for sure? Or because you are tentatively making that assertion yourself as following from the yin/yang philosophy you vaguely recall? Thousands have lived veg*n lifestyles without harming other humans. Making generalizations based on Hitler (when you also admit he ate a large amount of sugar– which quite possibly could have determined his behavior to a much greater extent than his veg*ism–if any dietary factor did) is unfair.

  9. alotusgirl says:

    Well, I just landed the Senior Vice President of Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic as a new client…
    and my other client is the Special Effects editor for George Lucas…
    and they are both REALLY NICE, Normal, down to earth guys.
    Just to put my two cents worth in…if it matters???
    Oh, Lauren, I am Loving Bikram Yoga too these days!!

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