Ad Title: “Pipe Job”
Agency: Innocean Worldwide
Auto sales in Europe have been on life support since 2009, but that’s still no excuse for Hyundai’s suicide-themed commercial for the ix35 compact SUV. The unsettling ad, aimed at the UK audience, depicts a man attempting to commit suicide by running his ix35 in a closed garage.
The upside (and apparent selling point of the vehicle) is that the man’s attempt fails — because the new ix35 produces “100% water emissions” and is therefore harmless. A public outcry — including heart-rending blog posts from individuals who lost a family member to suicide — forced Hyundai to pull the ad.
Hyundai apologized and sought to distance itself from the commercial by putting the blame on Innocean Worldwide — although critics quickly pointed out that the agency is owned by Hyundai’s parent company.