Hyundai's campaign, posted online last week, was produced by marketing communications company Innocean Worldwide Europe. I heard about it today after an open letter to the company by a woman affected by the advert went viral and the ad was subsequently pulled - I really do hope that wasn't their intention but I've been told that, for some companies, the intention sometimes is to have an advert banned.
The advert shows a distressed-looking man sat in a car that hopefully won't end up selling as well as the half-wits initially hoped. Unfortunately - and rarely for an advert - the man in the car is a half-capable actor so the scene is a bit more disturbing. The idea is that he attempts to commit suicide in his garage, but ends up sheepishly walking back into the house because the car has 100% water emissions. How intelligent.
Advertising creative, Holly Brockwell, wrote an open letter to Hyundai on her blog. She talks about how she watched the advert and started crying and shaking - her dad committed suicide the same way when she was younger. She also posts a photo of the suicide letter, so don't click the link if you're a bit
hormonally challenged of a wimp like me.
To rub salt in the wound of despondency, The Guardian has faced criticism, too, after it rated the ad as one of the 'best adverts of the week' in a column.
I don't want to get into too much of a rant - that's probably what the sick bastards want. But if it leads to more suicides (which has been proven possible), distresses people in a similar situation to Holly's, or trivialises one of the most harrowing tragedies in society - at least the people responsible can be assured that they might have made Hyundai a bit of money. That makes it all worth it, right?