January 24, 2013, - 5:39 pm

Kate Upton Mercedes Super Bowl Ad – Sleazy & Too Sexual? The 1992 Pepsi Ad

By Debbie Schlussel

Below is Mercedes Benz’s new Super Bowl ad, starring model Kate Upton, heiress to the Whirlpool fortune and niece of effeminate, liberal, pro-Muslim Republican Fred Upton. It’s spurring a lot of controversy, and the Parents’ Television Council is blasting it as too sexual. I totally get that and think that everything in society now is way too sexualized to the point that kids long ago stopped having a childhood and so on. Plus the ad is kinda cheap and low-class. On the other hand, to me the ad is nothing new and merely a rip off of a superior (in comparison) 1992 Pepsi Super Bowl ad starring the Kate Upton of her day, Cindy Crawford. That ad is also posted below. Yes, Cindy’s denim cut-off jean shorts are maybe an inch longer and her tank top shows probably an inch less cleavage. But it’s essentially the same ad featuring a similar woman–they both even have the same mole above the mouth (though Crawford is far better looking). Also, I’ve seen far worse, more objectionable stuff, including a sleazy Kate Upton ad for Carl’s Jr. Frankly, I don’t think it’ll help Mercedes sell more cars, as you barely notice the product and it defeats the purpose of the ad, as well as cheapening what, until now, was marketed as something of refinement and featured the voice of “Mad Men’s” Jon Hamm.


Kate Upton, Super Bowl Ad, 2013; Cindy Crawford, Super Bowl Ad, 1992

More Videos . . .

So, what do you think–sleazy, cheap, and too sexual? Or more of what we’ve irreparably come to expect in today’s society and much less offensive than a lot of other stuff we regularly see on broadcast TV? I’m more offended by “Teen Mom” and the Kardashians, who are only famous because one of them–Kim–made a porn tape with a rapper and she and her mother marketed it. Now, that’s disgusting. But with all these sexualization messages to young girls, we can hardly be shocked that they then have sex at a young age and end up pregnant.

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27 Responses

I actually think it’s pretty tame for skanky 2013. I was pleasantly surprised by how tame it was. It could have been much worse…

It also proves that w/all those wasted years in feminism (which is so desperate, they have inverted some of the things that used to get ’em all agro) nothing has changed. Not a thing.

Also, if I recall (as a Paul Newman fan) a more affective car wash girlie scene that men like is from “Cool Hand Luke”.

Skunky on January 24, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    It would have been provocative twenty years ago, but not now. Also, I do not find Kate Upton terribly exciting. She looks more awkward than erotic in the ad. Mercedes is not marketing its wares to hormonal teen males, so the whole point of the ad is lost on me. Upton’s talent, such as it is, would be better used on a body wash or shampoo/conditioner commercial.

    Worry01 on January 24, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    I think the Cindy ad is worse actually because of the small boys and because Cindy was a much more womanly woman. I disagree with Debbie about her shorts. They were tighter and more provocative. Also her moves were more um, practiced. Kate is still a teenage girl. Her body hasn’t reached it’s fullness yet. She’s a bit awkward in her sexual awareness and at least she’s playing to older guys, not little kids. Both are objectionable, but I think Kate is less so.

    Italkit on January 24, 2013 at 6:11 pm

      Worry & Italkit, you two are spot on about the awkwardness of KU. That was a VERY good point to make. Much agreed!

      Skunky on January 24, 2013 at 6:45 pm

I was wondering how this 19 year old catapulted to Super Model status in a few short months. It’s always about who you know.
The thing is Debbie, it’s not about the CAR, it’s about the GIRL. If a guy wants to know about a Mercedes tech specs, he can look online. The ad is designed to get him to think that if he has a Mercedes, he can have a girl like Kate or Cindy too. It’s the bait he needs to reel them in.

Italkit on January 24, 2013 at 6:04 pm

I hate the use of children in these sleezy spots.

As goes, so goes on January 24, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Sorry, but the Superbowl is for men, and so are the commercials. This is the one time of the year for men to be men. Women should not even be allowed in the room when the Superbowl is on, except to serve food and beverage.

Nothing wrong with the ads.

Jonathan E. Grant on January 24, 2013 at 7:10 pm

No offense ladies, but I don’t to have to explain the game or hear “pretty uniforms!”

Jonathan E. Grant on January 24, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Tame – even by 70’s standards. Here’s a terrible 70’s add. What is the opposite of cleavage? You’ll see what I mean…


I think it is the off limits topics that have changed….feminine products, sexual enhancement and performance products.

Visteo on January 24, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Debbie I think I’d rather see you in an ad. I see you in an exciting new matzoh campaign we can work on together. We can do suggestive shots of you buttering both sides, making a maror sandwich and finding the afikoman. Call me.

A1 on January 24, 2013 at 8:42 pm

I think it is sleazy, cheap, and too sexual. The fact that Cindy Crawford’s commercial was (slightly less) sleazy, cheap, and too sexual doesn’t change that. It just means that sexual promiscuity has been ingrained into our culture for a full generation.

And Miss Upton needs to put those things away already. I realize she wants to enjoy them for the five more years before they’re down to her knees, but there are decent models that can be sexy and take the occasional job that doesn’t involve shoving boobs in face. I think for me the final straw was that week I couldn’t click two links on the Internet without running into that video of her dancing nearly naked next to that all-time pervert and filthbag Terry Richardson.

Now all that said, that doesn’t mean I’m pro ankle-skirts headscarves and burkas. Any Muslim offended by this can go eff off. It’s just that there is a line between portraying feminine beauty and being a skeezoid and we apparently lost track of where that line sits years ago.

Brian R. on January 24, 2013 at 11:38 pm

Only problem with that ad is that she is wearing flats.

Hopewell on January 24, 2013 at 11:39 pm

The problem with Kate is that she looks neither virginally pure nor “hot.” What she looks like is an attractive teenager trying to be sluttish, but just looking clumsy. Her moves are just a “fraction of an iota off,” to quote “Philadelphia Jack” O’Brien.

Occam's Tool on January 24, 2013 at 11:52 pm

One of the things the 60’s Womens Movement was supposed to do was keep women from being sexual objects. Didn’t work apparently. Never have I seen such display of large and very fake bosoms as I see just walking down the street. Wish I had bought stock in implant companies. No class, come hither looks in slow motion, wind blown hair, and big bouncing fake boobs. Raw – very raw.

cc on January 25, 2013 at 12:10 am

Anybody who buys–or is influenced to buy–a Mercedes because of this or any other advertisement is a total idiot. You should buy a particular make/brand of car for only a few key reasons: because it’s a quality car, it’s safe, it’s built to last, and–depending on your attitude–it’s fun to drive, more or less.

And on those criteria, Mercedes fails most. I will grant you that a Mercedes can be fun to drive and it’s a safe car by most tests. But that’s about it. Mercedes are NOT really quality cars and they aren’t built to last. If you’ve ever owned one, than you know that you sink endless sums of money to maintain it. And the same goes for another major German brand of car, the Volkswagen. It’s a fact, Krautmobiles don’t age well, and the costs of maintaining the so-called “German engineering” will skyrocket before you know it.

But maybe that’s not the point of this dumb sexually-cliched commercial; to get you to buy the car. Maybe the point is just to be “controversial” to get people TALKING about the commercial, and maybe Mercedes. If THAT was the objective, than you have to give the “creative” people in the ad department credit. And this column proves it.

And I guess that they hope that unconsciously, that repetition and chatter over the commercial might induce you to visit the showroom, and then be told about that “great” “German engineering” by the salesmen.

But intelligent people don’t pay attention to any of this crap insofar as their auto purchases are concerned. Smart people do research, check Consumer Reports and other sources of information, including the REAL costs of the car, so they know what they should reasonably expect to pay for it, rather than guessing. Then, and only then, do they set foot in the showroom to sample the merchandise and “kick the tires.”

Always remember that when they use sex in commercials to try to move the merchandise, it’s not really “sex” they’re selling–but autoerotica that they’re selling, and in the case of pushing the Mercedes brand, that autoerotica is both literal and figurative.

Ralph Adamo on January 25, 2013 at 12:10 am

Keeps my attention. More than the game.

pat on January 25, 2013 at 1:17 am

The Mercedes commercial is mildly humorous, but is badly done, doesn’t fit the brand image, and isn’t effective. It’s hardly too sexy. What’s wrong with pretty girls? (I confess that Upton’s look doesn’t work for me though.)

I remember both the Cindy Crawford commercials. Again, why should we pretend there aren’t pretty women out there? I thought the commercials were very tasteful, and the second one was funny, harking back to those of us who remembered the first one.

The Carl’s Jr. commercial was over the top, but the mercedes and diet pepsi ads were perfectly fine. I think complaints come off as very prudish.

Skyler on January 25, 2013 at 8:29 am

Not too sexy, but really kind of stupid–both in the reaction of the guys, and in her strange awkwardness with her own sexuality. Her expressions just don’t work. Plus, opening shot is poorly done as it pans her bod. Kind of amateurish, actually.

Not sure how this sells the product, but then many commercials seem to have little concern for that aspect. David Ogilvy is spinning in his grave.

Red Ryder on January 25, 2013 at 11:28 am

Forget one sexy (?) girl. Buy a sexy automobile, and you’ll have a crowd of sexy women around. Such an idea would be apropos for a Super Bowl commercial. I think this particular ad might be aimed at women..i.e., buy a Mercedes, and you will have beefy jocks scrambling to wash it for you.

Kent on January 25, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Yeah, that Cool Hand Luke car wash scene…MMM, mmm, mmmm.

Between the flaming homo football players, like Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, scantily-clad bimbos writhing around a car, and “wardrobe malfunctions” at halftime, I’ve had enough of the NFL. My son will NEVER enjoy the love of the game I used to have, nor the pure enjoyment of rooting for your home team. The National Felons League has become a gangsta/hip-hop/tatted version of what used to be a well-run league by men, not rich spoiled children. NFL owners, you lost a fan forever.

FrenchKiss on January 25, 2013 at 2:03 pm


    NFL is just another reality show. The poor quality of the play-by-play is only exceeded by the number of commercials.

    At some point, the sport will change significantly, based on head injury problems and endless litigation. The next litigation topic might be the early deaths of these monstrous 350 lb linemen. (No one told me that it was unhealthy…) Stay tuned.

    Red Ryder on January 25, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Thanks Jon, but I have been watching football for about the past 40 years and know how to play the game. We used to go to Southfield Michigan where my grandma lived and watch it at her house every Sunday. It was a tradition and one that I miss.

Aside from that, I found the ad boring and had to fast forward to the end.

Karen on January 25, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Upton; kinda meh.

P. Aaron on January 25, 2013 at 11:46 pm

Being the avid football fan that I am the way that the NFL has sunk under the direction of that bum Roger Goodall is pathetic.
Still though notwithstanding the halftime show starring that big butted skank Beyonce I will enjoy the Super Bowl. One of the reasons for that is the commercials. This one with Kate Upton is what I call bland. In it she tries to be sexy but comes across as an awkward girl showing her “assets”-again. Hopefully they will show the Budweiser Michelle Obamas, er, I mean Clydesdales playing football. Now that was a commercial. On another good note hopefully the man guarding Ray Lewis will drive his butt into the turf on every play. If not it’s gonna be a long day for San Francisco.

Ken b on January 26, 2013 at 10:37 am

    @Ken b–

    Good comment re Roger Goodell. Despite the fact that most who follow the league despise him for the poor job he’s done, he is widely promoted by the media BECAUSE…

    He is the son of a left-wing senator (who masqueraded as a Republican for awhile)! What a surprise.

    Not sure that Ray Lewis alone can stop San Francisco. Besides, it might be time for karma to catch up with him.

    Red Ryder on January 27, 2013 at 2:09 pm

America needs to REPENT of their wicked sins or face hellfire in the end. Judgment day in God’s court is coming soon. Pray and ask Jesus to save you today. Where will you spend eternity?

Last word on January 26, 2013 at 11:50 pm

Sorry but that cocoa puff growing out of Crawford’s face is a complete gross-out turn-off.

SDF on January 28, 2013 at 1:50 pm

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