Sunday, February 03, 2013

Live from the Superdome: Racism vs Sexism

This year's Super Bowl is shaping up to be just a tad controversial for advertisers. But which will prove stronger, their Offense, or their Defense?

Volkswagen 'Get In. Get Happy.'

The Offense given by VW is that it's not cool for a group with greater power (white American) to imitate the accent of a group with lesser power (Jamaican). Or to stereotype them as happy-go-lucky buffoons.

The Defense? That it's not racist if you're portraying someone in a happy light. Pretty shaky, really, given the history of 'blackface'.

Result: Searching "volkswagen racist commercial" yields 2.9 million hits on google.

Coke 'Chase'

Offense: Shows an Arab walking through the desert with a camel.

Defense: The Arab character is a nod to old movies, like Lawrence of Arabia.

Result: For me, the Defense comes out on top. After all, many of the other characters in the ad are nods to old movies also, e.g. Mad Max.

Mercedes 'Kate Upton'

Offense: Category 1 objectification.

Defense: But it's the football players washing the car for Kate Upton, not the other way around!

Result: A real 'ad of two halves'. The first half undoubtedly sexist. The second half, just lame.

GoDaddy 'Bar Rafaeli's Big Kiss'

Offense: Objectification, humiliation… let's face it, this advertiser has previous.

Defense: Umm...

Result: I truly hate this ad.


Bernie said...

Hmmm I disagree big time. The GoDaddy ad was the one I liked. It was the only one that didn't make a big deal of political correctness.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Bernie. Go Daddy is good. Took the piss out of themselves.

Mo S. said...

The ad makes me want to vomit :S

Kylie said...

Agreed - horrible - I can't watch this ad to the end, its horrible, especially the smacking sound effects

Anonymous said...

Is it better to be liked or to be remembered? Apparently some people think you can't have both, so you have to be remembered for slightly disgusting ads.

Unknown said...

I don’t think the Volkswagen commercial was racist also. Although yes, there was an emphasis on the accent due to the guy being from Minnesota, but the message is generally being happy and positive. I don’t think it would be offensive to people if they are thought of as happy.

Jim Chabris