“Hyundai Europe ad uses fake suicide attempt to sell zero-emissions car,” as spotted by Jim Treacher:
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“WARNING: This depicts a suicide attempt,” Treacher adds:
A bunch of highly paid, highly educated people conceived, produced, and released the following ad. Apparently, at no point in the entire process did any of them utter these words: “Hey, is this really such a good idea?”
Hyundai America is disavowing the ad, saying they had nothing to do with it. I know it’s a big company, but do these guys talk to each other? Nobody zipped out a quick e-mail or anything? “FYI, over here we’re totally running with the suicide angle in the new ad. Gonna be SO SWEET!!”
But we’ve seen this movie several times before, haven’t we? For those with sufficiently strong stomachs, let’s take a look back at some of the strange and grisly products produced when Big Warming and Big Advertising intersect.
Back in the fall of 2010, there was the British “No Pressure” video, which implied that if anyone disagreed with taking drastic action against “global warming” — which, after all, is “an ecological Kristallnacht,” as Al Gore said, before he sold his TV channel to Big Oil for a $100 million paycheck, they should be vaporized:
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A year prior, the World Wildlife Fund released the ad below, which compared global warming to 9/11. At first they denied signing off on the ad, then eventually came clean, as Ace noted in September of 2009:
Oh, they originally claimed the ad was utterly unauthorized. Just some crazy kids in the copy room smokin’ the wacky tabackie and gettin’ all kinds of mischievous shenanigans.
Now comes a bit more of that sweet, sweet nuance.
Sergio Valente, president of DDB Brasil, said the ad was presented to the WWF in Brazil in December 2008 and approved; it then ran once in a small local paper.”When I saw it, I said stop running that ad,” Mr. Valente said.
Running an ad once is often a tactic to make it awards-show eligible, and “Tsunami” somehow ended up among a bunch of the agency’s submissions to this year’s One Show in New York…
After the WWF appeared to initially deny approving the ad, DDB Brasil and the WWF hammered out a statement posted in Portuguese on both groups’ Brazilian websites Wednesday afternoon apologizing for the ad and attributing it to “the inexperience of some professionals on both sides, and not bad faith or disrespect toward American suffering.”
Run an edgy (oooh!) ad once, get the buzz and the rewards, then claim that no one affiliated with your organization had anything at all to do with it.
Pretty tired of this stupid dance. An ad agency does not release confidential work-product of its client without someone somewhere signing off on it.
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A couple of months later, about five minutes before the phrase “Hide the Decline” entered into the collective consciousness, a British campaign appropriately named “Plane Stupid” killed off dozens of digital polar bears to shame frequent air travelers into flying less. Curiously, our environmentally obsessed president, and jet-setting celebrities who pay lip service to being “eco-conscious,” such as Leonardo DiCaprio, John Travolta, and Harrison Ford (who admits to taking to the skies in his private plane when he wants to pick up a cheeseburger in a hurry), haven’t taken this message to heart:
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The previous year had also seen more pretend polar bears killed off by Big Warming. As Tim Blair’s blog spotted in December of 2009, “In Brisbane, campaigners tied nooses around the necks of giant soft toy polar bears and threw them off balconies and bridges”:
Human representatives have also been mock-hanged in the proverbial effort to “raise consciousness” regarding the environment; in the fall of 2010, Andrew Bolt, another Australian journalist, spotted this disturbing image:
As I wrote in October of 2010:
Writing in Australia’s Herald Sun, Bolt notes that the photo below is a screen capture of a flier promoting a tradeshow last year put on in Cannes by ACT-Responsible — the ACT stands for “Advertising Community Together.” Not at all surprisingly, Kofi Annan was announced as attending, meaning that presumably he was OK with this image.
Around that time, and after viewing the “No Pressure” ad above, James Taranto gave this sick leftwing obsession a name: the “Green Supremacists”:
What kind of people blow up children?
White supremacists, for one example. On the morning of Sept. 15, 1963, members of a Ku Klux Klan “splinter group” set off dynamite under the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., killing four girls: Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley. Denise was 11; the other three were 14.
Islamic supremacists, for another example. Groups like Hamas and al Qaeda not only attack civilians indiscriminately but frequently employ Muslim children as suicide bombers. Our friend Brooke Goldstein made a whole movie about it.
There’s a new kind of supremacist on the scene: green supremacists. They haven’t blown up any children–not in real life. But they’ve been thinking about it.
A British outfit called the 10:10 Campaign hired Richard Curtis, a writer and producer of cinematic comedies, to produce a four-minute video promoting its effort to encourage people to cut “carbon emissions.” The result, titled “No Pressure,” struck James Delingpole, a global-warming skeptic who writes for London’s Daily Telegraph, as “deliciously, unspeakably, magnificently bleeding awful.” He’s being too kind.
As Taranto added:
The ad has drawn a few defenses, mostly on the ground that it’s intended to be humorous. Typical is Jim Edwards of CBS Interactive, who faults 10:10 for backing away from the video rather than “standing proud and telling the deniers to suck it up”:
Whatever. No one but the most extreme climate change denier believes this is actually what environmentalists want. It’s obviously just a joke outrageous enough to actually get people’s attention.
But a joke at whose expense? If a “climate change denier” had made such a video in order to lampoon global warmists as fanatical and antihuman, the effort would have been denounced as invidious and over the top–and rightly, or so we would have said a week ago anyway.
No, this video was made by green supremacists themselves, and with a high degree of technical proficiency. As 10:10 itself observed in a statement (since removed from its website), the video required the efforts of “50+ film professionals and 40+ actors and extras.” Blogger David Burge notes that “somehow, throughout this entire process, not one of the hundreds of people involved seemed to have questioned the wisdom of an advertising message advocating the violent, sudden death of people who disagree with it.”
One may hope that Jim Edwards is right when he denies that “this is actually what environmentalists want.” But it’s bad enough that this is what they fantasize about–and that they manifestly felt no inhibition about airing such a depraved fantasy in public.
And they do so over and over again. The Mad Men TV series is a weekly effort at painting ’60s-era advertising professionals as a venal, cut-throat lot. But these nightmarish ads indicate that if anything, their morals have gotten immeasurably worse, particularly as they’ve discovered religion:
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Update: Allahpundit has some thoughts on Hyundai’s new ad, and concludes:
Consider this an improvement, in fact, over environmental-minded ads of yesteryear. I’m old to enough remember when global-warming activists thought it’d be keen to raise awareness by showing kids getting blown up for failing to reduce their carbon footprint. Now we’ve got depressed people’s lives being saved by the absence of carbon monoxide in their exhaust. Messaging status: Refined.