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The ad Volkswagen has set to air during Sunday’s Super Bowl has received mixed reviews from critics, some stating that its content is racist.
Volkswagen previewed the commercial it created for the Super Bowl, emphasizing the slogan “Get in. Get Happy.”
In the commercial, one white Minnesotan with a Jamaican accent raises the spirits of his co-workers with uplifting messages. By the end of the ad, the others have started speaking in a similar manner with people who appear angry or tense.
According to The Washington Post, Volkswagen announced that the commercial was intended to make viewers smile and laugh.
“If you look at the whole intent of the commercial for us, it’s about making people happy,” said Scott Vazin, a VW spokesman. “The idea is to put a smile on your face. It’s simple and human and humorous.”
However, not everyone felt the same way as the creators. In fact, many criticized the company for being racist.
“Blackface with voices,” stated New York Times columnist Charles Blow.
Ad critic Barbara Lippert agreed, and on The Today Show, claimed it was “so racist.”
Vazin retorted that people are over-analyzing the ad, promising that VW had pre-tested it with consumers (including 100 Jamaicans) who responded positively.
“We get it. Accents don’t have a color,” was a typical response.
The Associated Press reports that the negative comments surrounding VW’s Super Bowl ads is vastly different from responses in previous years. In fact, its 2010 ad labeled “The Force,” had the second highest audience reaction on USA Today’s “Ad meter.”
Despite their best efforts to create a memorable ad, VW has a back-up ad to air during Sunday’s game as well.