VW ad joking about getting banned actually gets banned
The Australian government’s Ad Standards has banned a television spot for the Volkswagen Amarok ute for promoting unsafe driving, despite the fact the ad explicitly aimed to dodge rules that might see it banned.
The “Too Powerful for TV” ad depicts an eccentric director attempting to shoot a commercial for the super-cool VW Amarok V6, and seeing his every attempt at creating an exciting driving shot shut down by an advertising standards nanny, telling the director what he can and cannot show on TV.
The ad jokingly cut out the parts an advertising board would deem too dangerous, but ironically the entire ad was banned from broadcast. Despite the ban, the ad has received praise from the TV industry.
The director character in the ad is meant to have an unrealistic vision of the “world’s most impressive car advertisement,” says Volkswagen, but that didn’t stop Ad Standards from calling it “unsafe” and “irresponsible advertising taken by Volkswagen.”
The advertising board received a complaint about the ad that suggested the ad “could encourage dangerous overtaking actions,” referring to the high speed pass of a road train, which the ad gets across using a series of storyboard drawings.
The ad also “faked” high-speed driving scenes using digital computer graphics and modelling to seemingly get around the rules that limit cars in commercials from driving over 90 km/h.
“Of course, the irony of having the ban placed on the commercial and winning ‘Ad of the Month’ on an advertising industry publication on the same day was not lost on us,” a VW Australia spokesperson said.