Posts Tagged ‘volkswagen

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. 

16
Oct
09

Musical stairs – A potential way to lower obesity rates in US?

Can transforming a flight of stairs into an oversized piano keyboard decrease obesity rates in the U.S.? Probably not, but I’m sure they would add a few more smiles to the faces of commuters!

I was looking for a hip viral and found a Web site that ranks viral videos by popularity. The site, aptly named Viral Video Chart, has ranked one from Volkswagon No. 1 in the last 24 hours. The English version of the video is titled “Piano Stairs – The Fun Theory.” The creators of the staircase were successful in enticing people to take the stairs versus the escalator, increasing use of the stairs by 66 percent. Pretty good results in my book.

Great viral. I would like to see some executions like this in America centered around healthy lifestyle choices. Any ideas?




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