Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A teaching moment

I can only imagine how unhappy executives at Mercedes Benz were when they first saw this spec ad made by German film school students.

While this ad is clearly disruptive, memorable and demonstrates a new product feature, it is yet another reason why creative directors are critically important in today's youth obsessed advertising culture.

A good creative director has enough experience to understand there's a line between funny and offensive. A good creative director might also have a sense of history and know that there's a direct link between the Mercedes Benz, Hitler and the Third Reich – an association I'm sure the brand is loathe to remind people of. One can only hope that if the team worked in an actual agency a good CD would have reminded them of that fact and sent them back to the drawing board as their teachers should have.

I'm not even sure the students' basic premise makes any sense. Tobias Hunter, Jan Mettler, Lydia Lohse and Gun Aydemir, the creators of this ad were quoted as saying "We wanted to pose the question of what might happen if technology had a soul."

The ability to peer into the future and decide who lives and dies hardly qualifies as soul.
What this spot has me wondering is if those students have a soul between them. Otherwise how could they use the fact that millions of people suffered and died at the hands of Hitler and his disciples to sell a car brand that helped him even peripherally in this effort?

Hopefully they've learned through this little media brouhaha what they weren't taught in ad school.


  1. Ouch. That is painful...I don't mean little Adolf's unfortunate meeting with an MB.

  2. Wow. That's all I can say to this one. Thanks for posting!