The brands are at it again, folks. Tech giant Samsung enlisted Vanilla Ice—yeah, that Vanilla Ice—in an energy conservation campaign that is part greenwashing and all cringe.
On Tuesday, Vanilla Ice dropped a new version of the “Ice Ice Baby” music video called “Reduce Your Ice, Ice Baby.” It calls on listeners to decrease the temperatures on their refrigerators to save the climate and, of course, to buy a new Samsung refrigerator.
Vanilla isn’t exactly known for his bars, but the new version of “Ice Ice Baby” is straight-up embarrassing. In the intro, over that iconic bassline cribbed from “Under Pressure,” he says, “This is a joint with a sustainable edge. Bespoke VIP, let’s kick it.” It’s impossible to hear and watch without wincing.
The music video—or advertisement, really—is based on a study that Samsung conducted using government data from the European Union. It found that if every household in Europe alone increased its freezer’s temperature by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius), it would lower the world’s carbon emissions by more than 1 million tons each year. It’s wild to think that in some boardroom, a group of PR people saw this study and thought, “you know what this needs? This needs Vanilla Ice limply rapping the line, ‘Just one degree, I raise the temp like a vandal, climate-friendly, wax a chump like a candle’ as he opens a Samsung fridge and then some dancers will pop on the screen.” But here we are.
Samsung says that’s equivalent to cutting out the carbon from the yearly energy usage of over 120,000 homes combined. I guess Samsung feels qualified to give us all climate advice despite the fact that its own massive carbon impact is increasing year over year and it’s failing to meet the climate goals it set for itself.
Vanilla Ice doesn’t just give this advice, though. He and the company want you to know that if you really want to lower your carbon footprint, you should buy a new fridge from Samsung’s Bespoke line. Never mind the emissions associated with the manufacturing processes for all these new fridges. Never mind that you could turn up the fridge you already own by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit to reap at least some of the climate benefits that Rob Van Winkle is laying down. To become a true climate warrior in the mold of Vanilla Ice, you must buy a new fridge.
“Anything less than the best is eco felony,” Vanilla Ice says in the video.
Samsung’s new fridges do at least use isobutane, a coolant that has lower emissions than hydrofluorocarbons. The latter are chemicals widely used in fridges and air conditioners, but they warm the climate thousands of times more than carbon dioxide. To be clear, this is good but in no way makes up for hiring Vanilla Ice to remix “Ice Ice Baby.”
In a statement, a Samsung spokesperson added a more dubious sustainability claim, saying the Bespoke line is “capable of lasting beyond fashion.” That’s pretty rich coming from a company that constantly tries to sell you on new products whether or not the ones you currently own need replacing. The marketing bullshit is somehow even more cringe than Vanilla Ice saying “word to your refrigerator,” which is honestly saying a lot.