Volkswagen Super Bowl ad stirs controversy online

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 29, 2013 at 4:06 pm •  Published: January 29, 2013
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A bigger problem, he said, is that it doesn't really make people remember Volkswagen as a brand.

"I'm not sure it brands the product well enough during the spot," he said.

Volkswagen, for its part, stood by the ad and says it has no plans to pull it.

"The protagonist in the commercial is intentionally meant to portray an upbeat perspective and intelligence as he influences his coworkers to 'Get Happy,'" said Tim Mahoney, chief marketing officer for Volkswagen of America, in an e-mail response to an AP query "His accent is intended to convey a relaxed, cheerful demeanor while encouraging a positive attitude as the antidote to a tough Monday."

Super Bowl ads are no stranger to controversy — usually when an intended joke falls flat.

In 2009, Groupon.com made its Super Bowl debut with tongue-in-cheek fake public service announcements that showed celebrities who seemingly were discussing social issues, but instead were really talking about Groupon deals.

Some viewers and human rights groups thought the ads mocked serious social issues.

Last year, Skechers raised eyebrows of greyhound rights activists by shooting its ad at a racetrack in Arizona that the group claimed mistreats greyhounds.

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On the Web: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9H0xPWAtaa8