Innocean and Hyundai Draw Scorn for Using Suicide Attempt in Car Ad

Hyundai Pipe Job

Last week when I first saw the Hyundai ad titled “Pipe Job” (embedded below), I bookmarked it and put it aside with the thought of looking up more details later.

I thought that somehow this had to be some kind of terrible inside joke, and not a “real” ad. Who would even think to try to sell the car’s primary selling feature of 100% water emissions by showing a man failing to commit suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning.

Was it “edgy”? Was it shocking? Yes and yes. Did it make my stomach turn? Oh, hell yes!

Maybe the agency’s creative minds were sparked by the scene in Mad Men when Lane Pryce planned suicide failed due to the unreliability of the Jaguar’s ignition. Or maybe they just totally swiped the whole idea from Citroën’s 2002 suicide ad (thanks AdLand for re-referencing).

Or, was this another terribly misguided creative exercise like JWT India’s Ford Figo mockups, showing women bound and gagged in the back of a car?

While it’s conceivable that the idea may have popped up in a brainstorming meeting (I’ve been in enough of those), it’s tough to imagine it being worked into a pitch, being approved by the client and working it’s way through an expensive production process without somebody throwing up their arms and going, “What in holy freaking fuck are we doing here?”

Outrage over the ad rose to a whole new level today with a heartbreaking blog post titled “An open letter to Innocean and Hyundai“, by London freelance copywriter Holly Brockwell. Holly wrote of her reaction to the ad, and how it brought back the terrible memories surrounding her own father’s suicide in a car.

She went on to write, “As an advertising creative, I would like to congratulate you on achieving the visceral reaction we all hope for. On prompting me to share it on my Twitter page and my blog. I would not like to congratulate you on making me cry for my dad.” Ending with, “My dad never drove a Hyundai. Thanks to you, neither will I.”

A Hyundai spokesman was quoted in an article on The Independent as saying, “There’s no plan to use [the advert] in any of our advertising or marketing and it has been taken down.”

As with anything posted on the web, the ad had already been reposted on dozens of YouTube channels.

Boy Gathers Super Kid Dream Team for Rematch in Hyundai’s Super Bowl Spot

Hyundai Super Bowl Ad 'Team'

In Hyundai’s Super Bowl spot a young boy recruits his mother and her seven-passenger Sante Fe to recruit a dream team of super kids for a rematch against a group of larger boys.

The TV spot is supported by ‘Find Your 7‘, a social experience in which participants assemble a Super Bowl dream team from their Facebook friends, assigning them to a seat in a virtual Sante Fe. A winner will be drawn and will receive airfare, accommodations and tickets for seven people to the 2014 Super Bowl in East Rutherford, NJ.

The ad ‘Team’ was created by INNOCEAN USA, and directed by Jim Jenkins for O Positive.


Hyundai Partners with Spotify for ‘Break Free Playlist’ Facebook App

Hyundai i30 Break Free PlaylistBack in June, Hyundai Australia released Break Free, a fun TV ad featuring characters sing/speaking the words to Queen’s ‘I Want to Break Free’.

This week the car maker is launching the ‘i30 Break Free Dedicate and Win‘ campaign on their Facebook page, leveraging Spotify, which launched across Australia on May 21.

To win 1 of 150 Spotify premium subscriptions, fans are asked to dedicate their favorite ‘Break Free’ driving tune to one of their Facebook friends. Fans can search the Spotify database directly from the Facebook app, or choose from one of the pre-selected tracks.

The campaign will run til November 9, but the Top 5 tracks so far are:
1. All Right Now – Free
2. I Want to Break Free – Queen
3. Set You Free – The Black Keys
4. Free Bird – Lynyrd Skynyrd
5. Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty

The campaign was put together by Innocean Australia.

[via B&T]


Hyundai Australia Recruits Lauryn Eagle for ‘Sexy Gets Angry’ Campaign

Hyundai Australia 'Sexy Gets Angry'

Australian Celebrity Apprentice star, Maxim cover girl and championship boxer Lauryn Eagle stars in a new ‘Sexy Gets Angry’ campaign promoting the Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo.

The video is a cool mix of animation and video that may remind some people of the movie ‘Sin City’. As Lauryn is leaving the boxing gym, she runs into a jewel thief looking for a fast car for a getaway. Soon they are speeding through the city, until a distraction and a solid punch launches the thief out of the car. What happens next is up to the viewer. Should she turn in the jewels to the police, or head for the airport? Or should she donate it all to charity?

Viewers are invited over to the Hyundai Australia Facebook page where they can enter, “What should Lauryn do next with the jewels? Tell us in 50 words or less.”

The top 3 entries win a Veloster SR Turbo Track Day at Eastern Creek Raceway with Lauryn and a professional driver.

The Sexy Gets Angry campaign was created by Innocean Australia.


Hyundai TV Spot ‘Breaks Free’ to the Tune of Queen Classic

Channel Hyundai - Break Free

Queen were one the most flamboyant rock bands of the 70s and 80s, and their video for 1984 hit ‘I Want to Break Free‘ saw them at their most memorably outrageous. The whole band appears dressed as women, including Freddie vacuuming the carpet dressed in leather mini-skirt, tight pink top, and full mustache. The song became a world-wide top 10 hit (except in the US where it only reached the mid-40s).

The song has been re-imagined for an Australian Hyundai i30 TV spot, stitching together scenes of characters talking to create the lyrics of the first verse of ‘I Want to Break Free’.

The ad was created by Innocean Australia and produced by Prodigy Films.

Earlier this year a spoken version of Bohemian Rhapsody was used in a humorous ad for The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.


Walking Dead Creator Designs a Zombie Survival Version of the Hyundai Elantra Coupe

Hyundai Undead

Hyundai has partnered up with Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman for ‘Hyundai Undead‘ to celebrate the 100th issue of the comic book that the popular AMC series is based on.

Kirkman will be design a customized Zombie Survival version of a Hyundai Elantra Coupe complete with:

“A front-end custom zombie plow cow catcher with spikes, slatted armored window coverings, a roof hatch to allow passengers to shoot at walkers, an electric rear trunk to house weapons, all‐terrain/rally type tires, weapons storage compartments, a CB radio/PA system and more.”

A four-part video series documenting the fabrication of the car by Design Craft will be featured on the hyundaiundead website. The car will be unveiled at Comic-Con in San Diego on preview night, July 11 at the Future US booth. A limited run illustrated owner’s manual will instruct driver’s on the proper use of the car’s special features.

There will a second Hyundai Elantra GT, this one wrapped in The Walking Dead’s 100th issue artwork. Residents of the U can register for their chance to take it home at


Jim Denevan Creates Artwork On Australian Dry Lake Bed for Hyundai TV Spot

Hyundai Australia - Jim Denevan Creates Art on Dry Lake BedJim Denevan is an American artist who is well-known for two things; his travelling large scale dinner parties ‘Outstanding in the Field‘, and his temporary drawings on sand, ice and other natural surfaces.

To promote the Hyundai’s 2012 i40 Tourer, ad agency Innocean Australia hired Jim Denevan to turn the i40’s tagline ‘Make an Impression’ into reality. Denevan and director Noah Marshall of The Sweetshop headed for Rebecca Lake, a dry lake bed in Western Australia to film the ad.

Watch the 3 part ‘Making of’ videos on the Hyundai Australia’s YouTube page.