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.
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.
Result: I truly hate this ad.