Hyundai has withdrawn a TV commercial for its ix35 which shows a man failing to kill himself because the car’s exhaust emissions are 100% water, and not carbon monoxide. The “joke” is that the ix35 is a fuel cell car, not a gas or diesel car (video below).
The ad drew a protest from Holly Brockwell, a copywriter at adam&eveDDB who used her blog to ask the company to remove the ad. Her protest describes how her father committed suicide in his car:
Surprisingly, when I reached the conclusion of your video, where we see that the man has in fact not died thanks to Hyundai’s clean emissions, I did not stop crying. I did not suddenly feel that my tears were justified by your amusing message. I just felt empty. And sick. And I wanted my dad.
Holly Brockwell / TwitterHolly BrockwellHyundai told Huffington Post U.K.:
“Hyundai understands that the video has caused offence. We apologise unreservedly. The video has been taken down and will not be used in any of our advertising or marketing.”
Hyundai’s ad agency is Innocean.
The U-turn came quickly in part due to the skillful way Brockwell posed her dislike of the ad. Her blog post threatened to become a lot more viral than the ad itself, which had been praised by the UK ad media.
This is my dad.
This is the note he left when he committed suicide in his car:
And this is your new ad.
Hyundai apologized the same day.
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