One of the things people in the media love about Superbowl week is that it’s such a huge event that any sort of scandalous story you can break about it gets zillions of eyes looking at it just because.
For the better part of the past week, sports fans have been enduring the suggestion that maaybe Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis is using trace amounts of performance enhancing drugs as part of a Deer Antler Spray supplement regimen he follows. But for everybody else there really hasn’t been that much to talk about.
Until Volkswagen unveiled it’s newest Superbowl ad on YouTube.
The people that brought you Fahrvergnügen and the kid in the Darth Vader suit thought they had something lighthearted and fun on their hands, only to find that a lot of people find the ad (which depicts a White guy in a corporate office speaking with a Reggae-inspired accent) offensive and racist.
But is this a case of the politically correct media jumping to conclusions?
Maybe I’m just not coming at this from the right perspective, because I thought the spot was kinda funny (..at first — it’s amazing to me how a joke can be beat to death in just 60 seconds). But media critics have been invoking terms like “verbal blackface” and “racially biased” to describe their reactions.
Superbowl ads have long been a place where shock helps get the word out for advertising clients, but in the past few years it’s also become a place where (like James used to say) Talkin’ Loud and Sayin’ Nothing gets plenty of eyeballs to click on your YouTube link.
So what do you think? Is the media playing the liberal guilt card a little too heavily this time, or did Volkswagen go too far with this?