Obviously, the ad was pulled pretty quickly, but our story doesn't end here. In fact, it's only just beginning. It turns out that "the car that won't let you kill yourself" isn't actually thinking outside the box at all, but rather a strategy that's been used in the past. Three more times.
While one of them was only a spec ad, so far Citroen, Audi, and Nissan have tried to hatch this terrible golden egg of advertising.
Not only is the idea terrible, but each ad portrays it in the exact same way: A single dude sits solemnly in his car pushing exhaust, only to end up cursing his vehicle's clean emissions for letting him live. It's the Charlie Brown of suicide attempts, basically -- and evidently these agencies think it's the cleverest thing in the world.
You can kind of see the meeting: "Guys, it's win-win! We're going green in our message and showing off the leather interior and automatic windows at the same time! Not to mention that we're telling everyone about how our car will save their miserable life!"
"Nothing builds brand loyalty like thwarted suicide."
And then everyone went with it. They all nodded their heads, wrote up a script, paid for a location and actors, got a director, shot the footage, edited it together, added their logo, and fucking broadcasted it. That's what happened, all without a single person stopping and asking if maybe suicide isn't the best hook for a product.
It's as if Hyundai was willfully trying to harm itself by releasing this ad, which is more than a little ironic.