This is a story about two very bad decisions, and the Korean car manufacturer can own both of them.
It recently ran this TV commercial in the UK, which shows a man failing to commit suicide in his own car because the fumes are hydrogen-derived and therefore not deadly.
There was significant public protest, not unexpectedly. Suicide may sound kinda cool the way the agency sells it, but in the end, it’s still suicide.
Who’s going to wrap their arms around a straight-faced gag about a person trying to kill himself? I think that’s the essential question that wasn’t asked.
The public? This wasn’t a Public Service Announcement for a suicide helpline. It was selling a car. I don’t think there will be many yuk-yuks from the audience.
The creators? Maybe, the publicity might be good, although they must be hearing plenty of criticism in with the pats on the back – so it’s not an easy win, if that’s how they view it. “Darkly droll” is the best I can come up with.
Hyundai? Ha. On the contrary, the company has thrown the ad agency under the bus.
This quote from the source article.
Hyundai Motor said the ad was created by an affiliate advertising agency, Innocean Europe, without Hyundai’s request or approval. “It runs counter to our values as a company and as members of the community. We are very sorry for any offense or distress the video caused,” the company said.
They deny any knowledge of it. It runs counter to their values.
Those would be the values demonstrated by suggesting the ad agency created it, and smuggled it on air. No one at Hyundai knew? I wonder who paid for the commercial shoot.
And where’s the bit about “We are suing the ad agency for this criminal behaviour!”?
Being naked about your corporate values is good. But you want to be careful about what you stick in the public’s face.
I’d usually condemn any agency that did work with a high likelihood of damaging its client’s business.
In this case, I think Hyundai got the advertising it deserved.