As Super Bowl gets closer and advertisers release sneak peeks of the half time ads, they are getting the exact responses they are seek – conversation, publicity and people taking notice.
A Coke ad has been deemed racist after depicting an Arab-American in a stereotypical way, according to a Jan. 30 Reuters report. The new ad is slated to run during the upcoming NFL Super Bowl event along with the infamous Mercedes Benz ad featuring Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Kate Upton.
Coca Cola is being criticized for its ad and is taking heat from the American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee (ADC), which has condemned the ad. The ad at issue features an Arab-American man walking in desert next to a camel; a group of cowboys, Las Vegas showgirls and other race past him towards a bottle of Coke.
“Why is it that Arabs are always shown as either oil-rich sheiks, terrorists, or belly dancers?” Warren David, president of the ADC told Reuters. “The Coke commercial for the Super Ball is racist, portraying Arabs as backward and foolish Camel Jockeys, and they have no chance to win in the world,” Imam Ali Siddiqui, president of the Muslim Institute for Interfaith Studies said.
“What message is Coke sending with this?” asked Abed Ayoub, ADC’s director of legal and policy affairs. “By not including the Arab in the race, it is clear that the Arab is held to a different standard when compared to the other characters in the commercial,” he said.
CBS, the network airing the Super Bowl ad had no comment, but Coca Cola released a statement, saying the characters in the ad were based on past movies. “Coca-Cola is an inclusive brand enjoyed by all demographics,” Coca-Cola spokeswoman Lauren Thompson told Reuters. “We illustrate our core values, from fun and refreshment to happiness, inspiration and optimism across all of our marketing communications.”
The ADC has requsted that Coco Cola amend the ad prior to airing it at the Super Bowl.
This is the year of “let’s go controversy” before we even hit the half time stage. If Mercedez Benz thought it was the only one taking heat for showing Kate Upton in a steamy, sudsy ad, then it better think again. Here comes Volkswagen. The car manufacturer’s ad, which reportedly cost $10 million is also coming under fire.
The ad (“Get In. Get Happy”) features a white office worker who tries to encourage his colleagues by channeling a laid back Jamaican vibe. He prances around the office, shouting words of encouragement with a number of phrases like, “No worries mon! Every-ting will be alright!” While some viewers label the ad funny, others have deemed it stereotypical and racist. In fact, after the ad debuted on CNN, New York Times columnist Charles Blow said “it’s like blackface with voices.”
The ad will reportedly cost Volkswagen $7.6 million to air during the Super Bowl, but by debuting it on CNN and posting it on YouTube, it has racked up over half a million views in just less than a day. Go figure.
Next up, Upton and Usher will condemn Mercedes Benz for being stereotypical. How dare the company use a sexy model to portray a sexy model in its ad and use Usher to do what Usher does best in the ad? That’s so stereotypical.
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