RAW DOGMA written by Nkrumah Steward
|Volkswagen says they had nothing to do with it
What does your sense of humor say about you?
There is a professionally made commercial floating around on the Internet that appears to be for the Volkswagen Polo where it features an Arab-Muslim suicide bomber whose attack on several unsuspecting civilians on a quiet urban street is thwarted by sturdy German engineering when he blows himself up inside the car yet the car doesn’t explode.
The end of the commercial reads… Polo. Small but tough.
Now that is funny, but as we all know, what can be funny isn’t always appropriate, or is it?
Evidently there are a duo of Ad makers known as “Lee and Dan” who were allegedly given money and access to the latest Polo model by Volkswagen to do the shoot.
Volkswagen claims that they have no idea that this commercial was being made and intend on suing Lee and Dan, that is, if they can find them.
"The ad got out accidentally and has spread like wildfire," Lee and Dan said in a statement. "It wasn't meant for public consumption. We think the spot reflects what people see in the news everyday, and in this instance the car is the hero that protects innocent people from someone with very bad intentions. We're sorry if the ad has caused any offense."
See what complicates this whole matter is that Lee and Dan are also known for making parodies of commercials along with doing legitimate work in the industry.
So the question is, who do you believe?
There are people that fall on both sides.
The ad weblog Adrants added: "Clearly someone is lying. Very likely, someone deep inside the bowels of Volkswagen and DDB gave the green light for this. Some renegade account exec or brand manager told a few people to go do some cool viral thing but, at the same time, to keep quiet about it. In fact, there's probably an annual budget set aside at the beginning of each year for this sort of thing and those using the budget are simply told to do with it what they choose on a timeline of their choosing."
I guess it’s called viral advertising, this is advertising that is spread by word of mouth, through e-mails across the internet where more “edgier” commercials can be seen and create a buzz for product.
Last year, Ford was forced to distance itself from a viral ad showing a cat's head being cut off by a sunroof.
My question today isn’t whether or not this suicide bomber advertisement is main stream or not, because clearly it isn’t, but rather how do we decide what is mainstream and what isn’t?
I think humor illustrates rather poignantly the stark difference sometimes between what is supposedly mainstream and what is not.
If you ask me, the “mainstream” is decided by those who complain and to the extent they are willing to stir up a stink.
When Monday Night Football broadcasted a bit where a naked Nicollet Sheridan jumped into the arms of Terrell Owens some people were offended and called in and complained that it was in bad taste.
But was it?
Most of the people that offered comment on the Ad the next morning on radio, television and print said that had Nicollet Sheridan jumped into the arms of John Madden or Peyton Manning then no one would have complained.
So was that Ad inappropriate for the “mainstream” or was all that flack just coming from a small but vocal minority who were offended by seeing a nude blonde white woman jumping into the arms of a muscular dark skinned black man?
But regardless of how few in numbers they may be compared to the majority of viewers, since they complained, and corporate America has this “we can’t take any chances” attitude they issue an apology and promise never to do whatever it is again.
I thought this commercial was funny.
Is there something funny about real suicide bombers killing real civilians? No.
But there is something funny about a suicide bomber been spoiled by a car.
So what does that say about me?