Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Unfamiliar with the concept of free speech, North Koreans demand UK take action against "Bad Hair Day" poster

Via National Post

Making fun of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un's distinctive tonsure has become one of the official sports of the internet, so it's no surprise that a hair salon got in on the action.

Neither super clever nor outrageous, the poster might have been a minor meme on Reddit for five seconds, then forgotten. Except that this salon is in London, and not too far from the North Korean embassy.

According to the Evening Standard, two men from the embassy paid a visit to the shop owner, Mo Nabbach, took pictures, and generally tried to threaten him:
He said they then came back and asked to speak to the manager before ordering him to take the poster down because it was “disrespectful” to their leader. 
“I told them this is England and not North Korea and told them to get their lawyers,” he added. 
“We did take it down but then some of our clients told me to put it back up because we have a democracy here.
“The two guys were wearing suits and they were very serious. It was very threatening.”
 Now, AP reports that North Korean diplomats have asked the British Foreign Office to take action against the salon, with "necessary action to stop the provocation." Police had already investigated the matter, and determined that no crime had occurred.

Does this Audi campaign actually encourage distracted driving?

At first sight, I thought this was a CSR campaign against distracted driving. But after reading the fine print ("Detects danger when you don't. Audi Pre Sense") it feels like the exact opposite.

In my work with the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), one of the many things I've learned is that safety features can actually make people drive more carelessly. We did a whole campaign about it, called "Brain On Board," for the Toyota Foundation, because Toyota Canada feels the need to remind drivers not to let their advanced safety features make them less careful drivers.

This German Audi campaign, however, especially the "emails" one above, take the dangerous position that distracted driving is going to happen anyway, and that this new feature can save you from your own stupidity.

I have a message for the agency, "thjnk", in Hamburg, Germany: THINK!

Tip via Ads of The World

Dope-smoking Jesus hawks cheeseburgers

Adland's Kid Sleepy shared this dumb little attention-getter from Seattle with the comment, "Ads like this are designed only to shock. but that's the funny thing about shocks. The shock wears off quickly.. And shock value in terms of advertising equals a dingleberry."

I don't care much about the blasphemy, but is that cheese on that burger? It's Passover for God's sake! At least let Yeshua Ben Yosef eat kosher.

And now, we can forget we ever saw this.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Argentinian Jeep ads look a lot like blackface

I get the concept of mud mask treatments and going off road. But the execution is both weird and unsettling:

I'm sure the agency didn't intend to invoke the spectre of "blackface," but there it is. Nonetheless, they're pretty masturbatory ads, from a creative perspective. Whatever happened to making the product the hero?

Via Ads of The World

Monday, April 14, 2014

Dumbest car ads ever appear in Slovakia

This bizarrely ill-conceived "Ford" campaign was submitted to Ads of The World by JANDL, in Bratislava, Slovakia. The comments immediately questioned whether a venerable old brand like Ford would ever approve such weird and offensive creative.

They didn't. According to JANDL's site, the campaign was signed off by "Bratislava Summit Motors, Ford distributor in Slovakia." I don't imagine the brand mothership will be pleased.

Especially since one of them is blatantly racist:

There is also video: