image1 image2 image3


No self-respecting director would want to create an ad-spot

The rage of the past few days has been offensive ads. Hyundai has been getting the rap for releasing an ad that shows a man trying to commit suicide by inhaling the exhaust from Hyundai's new IX35. The point of the ad is to show that the car has 100% water emissions and no Carbon Monoxide. The unsuspecting guy doesn't die. Watch the ad here:

This can be seen as a funny way of showing that while every car out there is expected to emit carbon monoxide, the emissions from the new Hyundai IX35 is 100% water. It would have been extremely boring had they just done it with lots of flowers and a green-planet message like most hybrid car ads. That is probably why Hyundai approved this ad in the first place, although they have officially denied having approved it after the ad has drawn criticism.

This ad has offended a few people and that feeling has been amplified by the media. It is not just this Hyundai ad. Some ads by Pepsi and GM have drawn criticism as well. You can read full posts on it by AdAge here and here.

It is my philosophy that you cannot please everyone, and you shouldn't aim to either. It is a lot better to delight the few who really get what you have to offer rather than try and please the masses. Seth Godin puts across this point elegantly in this post.

If you're an author, a screenplay writer, a movie director, a footballer or any other kind of artist, you can follow this philosophy and bring your best work, the work that you truly resonate with, to the table, irrespective of what people think. Your work is for those who understand and appreciate it. But, not if you make advertisements for a living. Because then, it is your job to please the masses, to get as many people as possible to like your work, to not offend even a single person.

Maybe this brings a lot of caution to how advertisements are made in the first place. If so, it explains why so many advertisements are mind-numbingly boring. If there is little creative freedom for advertisers, the quality of their work is bound to suffer.

Share this: