Thursday, April 17, 2008

Saab vs. common sense


Having worked on campaigns promoting safe driving (here and here), I find this ad deeply irresponsible.  The other ads in this 1999 series are largely benign -- Saab vs. Oxygen Bars, Saab vs. Steroids.  The one, however, in headline and visual, is actively promoting obviously unsafe behavior, even if the copy is a bit more ambiguous in the kind of passing situations for which its turbocharged engine excels.  And isn't the car way too close to the tanker to even think about lane changing?  (Where's the usual "Professional driver on closed course." disclaimer?)

There's a difference between ignoring the unsafe use of your product; acknowledging but not condoning it; and outright encouraging it.  You can get away with the first and preempt problems with the second, but you're asking for trouble with the third.

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