Saturday, February 16, 2013

Mercedes, Satan and Masons

I am still getting caught up after being on the road to Masonic Week for 10 days. While I was gone, Mark Koltko-Rivera in New York broke the story that MercedesUSA was airing a Super Bowl commercial entitled "Soul" that featured Willem Dafoe as Satan, and two shots that clearly showed the Horned One sporting a Masonic ring on his pointed fingernailed hand.

Thanks to the complaints of many Freemasons, Mercedes altered the edit of the commercial for the Super Bowl airing removing the closeup of the ring, and issued an official apology on their Facebook page:
We apologize to anyone offended by the use of the ring worn in our commercial, 'Soul,' that ran during the Super Bowl. 
It was not our intention to make any association with the Freemasons or any organization. In fact, neither we nor our advertising agency were aware that the ring could be associated with the Freemasons. To avoid any confusion going forward, we will modify the commercial prior to any future television airings.
While I wish the apology had been in a more widely seen venue, it appears that enough voices can make a difference. It remains more than slightly risible for them to claim that there was no intention to associate the Freemasons with Old Scratch, because they clearly did.

Mercedes still has the extended 1:50 version on YouTube, with the ring featured in two shots. See it here.

5 comments:

DWS said...

Yes, but will they apologise for the lower ring as well? TMNT? The Dark Turtle? The Durtle?
Dan Schulz

shawn bell said...

Just a bad move on EVERY Freemason who compalined about the commercial. I wrote about this here:

http://merefreemasonry.com/?p=306

I disagree with the complaints, and I don't believe that Mercedes should have apologized.

=Shawn Bell

Glenn said...

I'm glad that the brethren have stood up and made their voices heard. A simple search would have shown them the link (and I believe they knew that), but their ignorance of the meaning of the Square & Compasses is evident in that the ring depicts and Entered Apprentice (and the square is not square, which is probably generic anyway). If the various Grand Lodges would have stood their ground in the past instead of remaining silent, our external reputation would reflect the moral teachings of the Fraternity.

Our lodge has had a couple candidates who did not advance simply because their families did not understand the symbolism, and one in particular thought that the Eastern Star was something un-christian, which our Open House material now clearly explains. This just serves to illustrate how this kind of a depiction can spiral beyond the initial presentation and cause problems down the road.

As far as someone's reply here, the imagery was presented negatively in combination with another ring, worn by a dark figure with a clear, sinister presentation. I can not see anything positive in the presentation. Only Freemasons can look at it and discuss the positive aspects because the majority of viewers have no idea what the Fraternity actually is. If they did, they would use the term Fraternity and not Secret Society. And yes, we should stay out of political and religious discussions, but we need to stand up for ourselves and correct the negative imagery or we will continue to be unfairly targeted.

Darrell G. Waddell said...

Brothers, if you go to the Facebook Mercedes Benz Page:

https://www.facebook.com/mercedesbenzusa, go to the February 3rd posting about the commercial, and then in the comments, open up "see previous comments", and scroll to the date of February 6 at 4:01pm you will see this:

"Mercedes-Benz USA To all concerned:

We apologize to anyone offended by the use of the ring worn in our commercial, 'Soul,' that ran during the Super Bowl.

It was not our intention to make any association with the Freemasons or any organization. In fact, neither we nor our advertising agency were aware that the ring could be associated with the Freemasons. To avoid any confusion going forward, we will modify the commercial prior to any future television airings.
February 6 at 4:01pm

It appears they heard our voices!!!

Fraternally,
Darrell G. Waddell

Jason Burdette said...

A wise person once told me not to suffer my zeal for the institution to lead me into argument with those who with ignorance may ridicule it.

Many Masons are business minded men with the means to buy a luxury car such as a Mercedes, to them I say if this offends you, BMW and Lexis make a pretty nice Luxury car as well.