As Super Bowl Ads Arrive Early, So Does Criticism

Coke, Volkswagen catching flak for spots

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 31, 2013 1:10 PM CST

(Newser) – It used to be that people actually had to wait for the game to watch the Super Bowl ads, but as the New York Times points out today, those days are long gone for Madison Avenue. Most companies roll out the spots, or versions of them, on YouTube and social media to generate early buzz. Some talkers, for better or worse, this year:

  • Coke: The company has an ad about a race in the desert (viewers can vote on who wins) complete with an Arab and stubborn camel. It's "racist, portraying Arabs as backward and foolish camel jockeys, and they have no chance to win in the world," says the president of the Muslim Institute for Interfaith Studies. It and other groups are demanding that Coke pull or alter it before Sunday, notes the Hollywood Reporter. See it here.

  • Volkswagen: It, too, is being accused of racism for a spot that features a white office worker talking in a Jamaican accent throughout, reports Reuters. See it here.
  • Mercedes-Benz: Its ad featuring Kate Upton washing a car, or at least supervising, already has gotten more than 5 million views on YouTube, reports the AP. See it here.
Today.com has more of this year's buzzy ads here.

A frame grab from the Coke 'chase' ad.
A frame grab from the Coke 'chase' ad.   (YouTube)
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Coke's Super Bowl ad.   (YouTube)
Mercedez-Benz has Kate Upton washing a car.   (YouTube)
The Volkswagen ad.   (YouTube)

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