Faris Yakob: Volkswagen’s Transformative Driving Experience [Super Bowl 2013]

Some may accuse this ad of mild racism, but the former Chief Innovation Officer at MDC Partners thinks that the underlying concept is quite charming.

Faris Yakob
Faris Yakob on February 10, 2013. @faris

As a white, English man with dreads, I must confess to an immediate empathy with this spot, in which a white office worker from Minnesota speaks in Jamaican patois. No doubt the spot will suffer some tiresome, kneejerk accusations of racism, which is unfortunate because it’s actually quite charming.

The teaser spot is better, to my taste; more of the web, something that Deutsch LA has shown they truly are, repeatedly. Various #fail memestars appear for a web redemption, led up to a hilltop (reference almost certainly intended to the classic 1971 Coca-Cola spot for those of you not in advertising), by Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff for a cheering sing song.

The spot itself is more mainstream, based in a stereotypical dreary cube farm, where one man’s unnatural ebullience confuses and then infects his coworkers when he shares his secret — a drive in a VW Beetle.

Happiness is the highest order value proposition of everything, the ultimate promise of every product. Finding a way to do it that’s charming in this day and age is impressive. And, thank Jah, no one had any dreadlocks.

Big Up. One Love.

View the full ad below:


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TOPICS: Advertising, Branding & Marketing, Sports & Fitness, Work & Business
Faris Yakob

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Faris is an award winning strategist and creative director, writer, public speaker, and geek. Most recently he was Chief Innovation Officer of MDC Partners, where he founded Spies&Assassins, the creative technology boutique. Previously, he was Chief Digital Officer of McCann Erickson NY, and Global Digital Strategy and Creative Director at Naked Communications. He was named one of the top 50 creatives in the world by the Clios, one of 10 modern day Madmen by Fast Company, and he was featured in The Greatest Movie Ever Sold by Morgan Spurlock.