Blog Post Week 2


Good Evening! While reading through some of your blog posts, I felt compelled to play devil's advocate and discuss the pros and cons of the VW ad we were so pleasantly presented with in class on Wednesday. First, may you care or not, I do not see this ad as racist. However, I am white, with my own white girl problems. Second, I openly try not to generate major stereotypes based on small samples of the big picture, but then again, we are all human- and regardless of how much we try, generalizations are a natural part of our species. I believe a huge part of this class is going to be analyzing textual elements that surround us every day, and finding a way to grow impervious, yet still perceptive of our environment. Moving onward, if we were to listen to this VW commercial rather than watch it, I am sure that no one would have as issue, since there is nothing uncouth about language that they use. Just good ole' German, Jamaican, American fun. One the other hand, when we watch the commercial and see that the main character is a middle aged white male, many of you raised a brow to the absurdity of the theme. So, if we break it down, we see that the Jamaican culture is portrayed as free living, happy, nonchalant. Insert this picture into a serious, predominantly white, blue collar building, and suddenly the juxtaposition almost makes us think that Jamaican culture doesn't take real life seriously. With this idea in mind, yes. I can totally see where people are coming from. However, many people watch this and think, "It's just a car commercial, what's the big deal?" Many of these people are either not included in the stereotype, or simply just feel that subjects like these are looked at too heavily. Our problem is that our society works so hard at selling to us, that now the element of surprise is the only element that gets attention these days. Our society is constantly pushing the envelope, saying good-bye to playing it safe, and throwing our domestic and international neighbors under the bus. Advertising and marketing has become an unstoppable force. Now, it is up to us to learn and achieve a moral standpoint in the world that is rightfully ours.


First of all, I really enjoyed your post. I agree with you that it was not a particularly racist or offensive ad in my opinion. However, I can see why people would think that it is not an acceptable depiction of a Jamaican person. Your point that if we were to listen to the ad without seeing it it may not seem offensive is very interesting. I think that is the case because many Americans are too fixated on what they believe the world looks like. When they see a middle aged white man speaking in a Jamaican accent they immediately classify it as racism despite the fact that they were not mocking the Jamaican culture or their lifestyle. I find it very interesting that when VW surveyed 100 Jamaicans none of them had a problem with it, but many Americans do have a problem with the ad.

Thank you for playing the devil's advocate especially because this advertisement can be viewed by a variety of different people as controversial. I wonder though, do you think that Volkswagen's strategy of using the Jamaican lifestyle to promote their vehicles will be effective? Would you buy one of their cars because it influences our emotions like in the Media Literacy reading? Or do you think this commercial turns you away from buying one of their cars? Regardless, I would never buy a Volkswagen, but I'm curious about how you guys feel about their ploy.

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This page contains a single entry by solhe062 published on January 31, 2013 10:40 PM.

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