Friday, 9 September 2011

Some of the Most Shocking Marketing Campaigns in Europe

Unclutch your pearls ladies and gentlemen “Slavery – The Game” was a PR stunt by some Dutch clowns. The fake game trailer was released to promote “De Slavernij”, which is a five part documentary on the history of Dutch slavery. One thing I have noticed in Europe, when it comes to advertising, the more sensationalist and offensive the better! It appears complete and utter outrage is the sole marketing strategy. 

Here are few other campaigns that shocked the hell out me and took things a bit too far for my American sensitivities. Most were good intentioned, one was just out for the money and all of them left us talking. Watch clips at your own risk some are graphic in nature.

1)Hit Me At Thirty …there's an 80% chance I'll live.

This campaign was launched in late 2008 in England. The goal was to emphasize that the speed limit in residential areas of England was 30 mph for a reason. I learned that if you hit a person at 40 mph there is high likelihood they will die but if you slam into them at just a mere 30 mph, there is an 80% chance they will live. Fair enough. Speeding in residential areas is NOT COOL, but so was the execution of this campaign.
Imagine me sitting in a movie theater with some sweet popcorn and I see the bruised and broken body of little child on the side of the road. The body starts to reanimate as the commercial goes back in time to before the child was actually hit. The worse bit for me : the sounds of her bones un-cracking and blood being drawn back into her body. UK road safety has a history of graphic and gruesome tactics to get their point across. Not sure if these ads reduce speed related deaths but the Brits love this type of stuff. Don't believe me, check out my number 2.
2) Think! Kill your speed or live with it!

Back again for more shock tactics in the interest of public safety, the “Kill your speed or live with it campaign” was launched in Britain in 2009. The tv spots showed a man carrying out daily activities only to be haunted by the dead distorted corpse of the child he killed while speeding. Brushing his teeth, in his office, at the mall, at his kid's soccer practice; the body is on the bathroom floor, under his desk, and on the football pitch. The director even thought it would be super great to show a close up of the boy's face, something I found almost unbearable.
What the f**k is wrong with people that think this is okay? I understand the point, if you kill someone while driving you can't escape the crime no matter what but me, a casual viewer on television can not escape this haunting image of THIS child and I didn't even own a vehicle at the time. No warning, nothing, just a graphic image while I am sitting at home relaxing. The only thing more haunting then the tv commercials were the radio adverts. ::shudders::

3) Visit Denmark....Land of Whores ??
Catchy slogan huh? That was the image the Danish Tourism board decided to push in 2009. To get people to visit Denmark, or at least drive traffic to the Danish tourism website, they portrayed their country as a place where dudes on vacation can get a native women drunk, take her home, have unprotected sex and then father a child. You must have heard about this one?
The viral video is of a Danish woman with her infant son. She is desperately trying to locate the father, whose name she can't remember due to alcohol consumption. ::slaps forehead::
Her side of the story: she met the baby daddy one and a half years ago. Their encounter included getting wasted, talking about what a free society Denmark is and then bumping uglies, RAW !! Viola !! Here is your son, oh and I am not a bimbo, so I know he is yours. ::sideeye:: The video seemed very genuine and she invites the missing dad and others to view her personal photo gallery so he can see what he has missed so far. The links led the curious to the VisitDenmark website and slowly people began to realize that this was a tourism ad campaign. I am not joking!
Girls Gone Wild, Copenhagen. woo hoo! Danes were PISSED! The ad has since been banned because people believed it glorified promiscuity. Forget the promiscuity, I don't care if Danish women or any women have sex. The coupling of unprotected sex and alcohol consumption was what disturbed me, it was a horribly irresponsible ad.
Since it's been banned the original video is hard to find but it has been covered by numerous news outlets. Like this one.
4) Hit the Bitch! The Anti Domestic Violence Game
Somehow the catch phrase gets lost after the "hit the bitch "bit.
Denmark came out swinging again in 2009 for another tasteless and not so well thought out PR campaign. This time it was for a respectable cause, they wanted to raise awareness for domestic violence. The cornerstone of this campaign was the Hit the Bitch game targeted at young men. The players sign in and they are met with a nagging girlfriend, you, an abusive asshat had the luxury of using your mouse to swing and hit this woman until she was bloody mess on the floor. The more you hit her, your “Pussy” percentage decreases and your “Gangsta” percentage increases..yes I said “Gansta."
Once you think you reach 100% Gangsta the ranking switches to 100% Idiot. As the game player you are suppose to be like oooh...wait, simulating hitting this woman for two minutes is wrong and stupid. Hitting women is bad. ::sideeye::
I dont know about you, but making light of such an issue as domestic violence and making it a game really seems like an ass backwards way to stimulate an important discussion.
I was doubly offended by “hip hop” style music playing in the background. I mean WHAT THE HELL!!! Because of the international outrage the game was limited to only “gangstas” in Denmark.

What are some of the most tasteless ad campaigns you have seen? Either post them in the comments or tweet them to me @nicolenewblack

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Those commercials were unbelievably disturbing, although albeit probably effective (at least the speeding commercials from the UK). Have you seen the German speeding-prevention ads? I always found them a little too graphic for my taste. They have these huge billboards on the highway to keep cars from going too fast. One shows a family holding a picture of the father because he died in a crash, or a close up of a bruised mangled body on life support in a hospital with the slogan "Runter vom Gas!"... Here's a link to see some more of the ads.