Many people are hypersensitive, eager to be offended at the drop at a hat. But sometimes, something is truly so stupid, so potentially egregiously hurtful, that it’s remarkable that an adult professional human would offer it for public consumption (other than in a specific attempt to hurt people.)
Such is the case with Hyundai’s recent ad which showed a man trying to commit suicide by pumping exhaust into his car while he sits behind the wheel, looking ready for it all to be over. Yes, the ad ends with the man living because the car’s new emissions system is so clean. But until then, it’s hard to imagine a more boneheaded attempt to sell a product.
Seriously, even though the guy doesn’t die, who thinks that it’s smart marketing to tie a car brand to being so miserable that you want to die? Tag line: “If you’re on anti-depressants, our new ix35 might just push you over the edge.”
Holly Brockwell, a young British woman who works in advertising, saw the ad. Her father killed himself several years ago with carbon monoxide in his car. Her reaction, sad and angry and completely understandable, is here.
Hyundai and their boneheaded advertising agency, Innocean, have apologized and appear to have scrambled to remove the ad from wherever they could find it, including in the embedded video in Ms. Brockwell’s note linked above.
I have found another copy of it, and it is embedded just below, though I would not be surprised to see this one vanish too, in which case this link should take you to another instance of the video.
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