Archive for the 'Super Bowl' Category

31
Jan
13

Is the Volkswagen SuperBowl Ad Racist?

Watch thisGet in. Get Happy. What is your first reaction? 

Sit with that reaction for a minute. 

On this morning’s Today Show, check out the following exchange: (we are using a transcript rather than a video because NBC will likely have us remove the video)

Here is our transcript from Matt Lauer interviewing Ad Critic Barbara Lippert. Lippert was with Adweek for more than 20 years before leaving for mediapost.com

Matt Lauer: Barbara, first reaction when you see the ad?

Barbara Lippert: I was shocked. Didn’t anyone look at this? This is so racist. My problem with it is that there’s no link to Volkswagen. Its a German car and they are showing happy people because they have black accents. And maybe Jamaicans didn’t find it offensive for a Jamaican Beer or something, but it’s just saying that black people are happy.

Matt Lauer: I take a completely different view of it. I have to be honest with you. I thought if you buy this car, it puts you in a happy place and what’s happier than all the memories we have on being on beautiful islands on island time? That’s the way i took it.

Go back to your initial reaction when you saw the ad. Whose opinion do you more closely align with Barbara or Matt?

Here is my opinion and analysis:

This is a funny ad delivered using obvious parody. When you first hear the Jamaican voice in the elevator, you have an image in your head of the person saying those words. When the person is revealed to be a 6’5″ clean-cut white guy, you now have the tension that makes this ad effective. You are engaged as your mind shifts its paradigm. Then, you are treated to funny vignettes, which engages you emotionally. The hero in this ad is the Volkswagen. When the main character drives his Volkswagen, it makes him happy.

With all due respect Ms. Lippert, you are seeking to be offended from something that is not offensive. In fact, I am stunned that your claim of a racist ad is based on your phrase “black accents.” Jamaica is a country, it is a culture. It is NOT a race. To address the people who could be most sensitive to the tone and content of the ad, Volkswagen Marketing Officer, Tim Mahoney, said Volkswagen conducted research including interviewing more than 100 Jamaicans to ensure the ads were not offensive to the country and culture of Jamaica. Well done, Tim!

So, what do you think? Has Volkswagen produced a racist ad?  If so, please comment below. 

27
Jan
12

Super Bowl Advertising Preview

The average cost of a commercial for the Super Bowl is around $3.5 million this year, and NBC pretty much sold out its ad inventory by Labor Day. With the DVR changing how we watch TV and creating commercial skipping, television advertising seems like a dying media. So, why do advertisers mortgage the farm to get an ad for the Super Bowl?

Fewer events are more hyped, create as much fanfare, attract more interest from celebrities, politicians and average Americans than the Super Bowl. And live is still how viewers like to watch sports with the NFL leading the sports pack in fan base size. Last year’s Super Bowl had an astonishing 110 million viewers – definitely worth mortgaging the farm.

Therefore, we wanted to preview some of the spots that we think will be real highlights this year.

Volkswagen

One of the highlights last year came courtesy of Volkswagen as they unveiled their commercial, “The Force,” which featured a young Darth Vader and a new 2012 Passat.

Volkswagen may have replicated its 2011 success with a memorable ad for the  Super Bowl XLVI. They have a teaser (yes – an ad of an ad) for this year’s Super Bowl commercial, which includes dogs barking the Star Wars theme and is named “The Bark Side.”

As a dog lover, and Vizsla owner (top row-center), I for one am excited to see this ad.

Sketchers
Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, will be guest starring in Sketchers third-consecutive Super Bowl ad. With expectations lowered after last year Kim Kardashian commercial, Sketchers can only improve, right?

It turns out that this particular ad features racing greyhounds that lose to a tiny dog wearing Sketchers.

Doritos
In my opinion, Doritos has been throwing multiple game winning touch downs with its “Crash the Super Bowl Contest” for the last couple of years, and this year looks to be no different. Here are some of the top contenders.

Sling Baby
What do you get when you mix a baby in a swing, a mean grandmother and a bratty kid taunting them both? A great commercial.

Man’s Best Friend
Dog-themed entries always grab my attention. This entry features a dog trying to cover its tracks and a human that can apparently be bought off for just a sack of Doritos.

The Voice
A promo for “The Voice” that will be aired during the Super Bowl, for a series that premieres directly after the Super Bowl, will at least create some conversation at the water cooler on Monday. The spot is titled “Vokal Kombat,” so I can only assume that it features Christina Aguilera ripping Adam Levine’s head off, vocally that is.

So, we are interested to know, what commercials are you most excited to see and , more importantly, do stellar commercials make up for a Super Bowl that is heavy on defense or one-sided? Let us know here on The Side Note, or on Facebook (Facebook.com/WeiseCommunications) or on Twitter (@Weise_Ideas).




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