I am not one to publicly get on a soap box very often but after I saw what I felt to be a very tasteless and somewhat racially offensive State Farm auto insurance commercial I felt the need to speak out however I was thwarted (more on that later) so I decided to turn to you the readers with this and get your opinion.
The video below is a new State Farm commercial called “Magic Jingle Parking Lot”. Three Caucasian women (two blondes and one brunette) are walking up to a car owned by the woman in the middle and to their horror they notice a huge blemish on the rear door of their friend’s Honda Accord. However the woman in the middle is calm and relaxed “Oh, that’s OK! Here watch this..” she says. She then begins to sing the State Farm jingle and “BING!” a professionally dressed African-American male pops into frame out of thin air and greets the ladies.
“Who’s that guy?” asks the brunet on the right. “That’s Rich, my State Farm agent” replies the blonde in the middle. Immediately the other blonde to the left asks if she can try singing the magical jingle as well. Just as she finishes the jingle the brunette chimes in and says “with a HOT guy”.
At this point a Caucasian male magically appears whose appearance I can only describe as “business casual” (his shirt his buttoned down half way, sleeves rolled up, with sunglasses on). At this point the three women make requests to change the persona of the man, thus changing his wardrobe and what I guess is supposed to be “hilarity” ensues.
But wait a minute…did I hear what I thought I did? “with a HOT guy“? Are they trying to spread the message that being “hot” means not only being Caucasian but dressing like a stunt double for that dude from “Burn Notice”?
Those who know me know that I am not what you would call “sensitive” but this subtle offense struck a chord with me. I found the commercial on youtube and scanned the comments to see if anyone else noticed what I did or if I was just crazy. To my surprise I saw that of the few comments there all were positive. I admittedly doubted myself a bit at that point but I decided that I would share my opinion in the comments.
I finished typing up my short but concise response and when I clicked “submit” I was met with a message in bright red letters: “Comment Pending Approval!” It looks like State Farm doesn’t want anyone sharing their opinion on their commercial without having a chance to look it over first. It was then that I noticed the video had nearly 3,000 views after only being live for four days. It made me wonder how many others may have wanted to share a similar opinion to mine only to be denied. Which is why I decided to share it here. I figured I have a public outlet why not use it? After all this is connected to the automotive industry/community I love so much. Even enthusiasts need good auto insurance.
Perhaps I am being too sensitive to this but I still felt compelled to share my thoughts on this with all of you because it troubled me so much. However, I do have some good news. I saved money on my car insurance by switching to Geico.
You can watch the commercial below and draw your own conclusion. Did State Farm let an offensive commercial make it to national television under their noses? Or is what you see harmless?