Volkswagen has the spine that GM hasn't shown recently to overly touchy advocacy groups. No stranger to commercials that spark conversation, the company has no plans to pull a new commercial that shows a suicidal jumper change his mind on a ledge after learning there are now three V-dubs available under $17,000. This time it's Suicide Prevention Network USA that has lobbied Volkswagen directly to reconsider airing the commercial titled "Jumper." GM's new buddies, the American Federation for Suicide Prevention, along with the American Psychiatric Association, Mental Health America, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness have also piled on in the effort to remove any vestige of humor, personality or edge from advertising. VW should have run a spot with someone getting their teeth kicked in if they wanted to avoid controversy.
Thanks for the tip, Jay!
[Source: USA Today]
Again, there isn't anything funny about suicide, but there's this thing called dark humor. Some of our favorite comedians have material that makes these spots look like nursery rhymes. When all the life is scrubbed from media by advocacy groups, we'll all want to jump. Wouldn't the efforts of these groups be better spent actually doing something useful for their cause? We understand the need to get their message out, but attempting strong-arm tactics against fairly innocuous material isn't the way to win friends and influence people. Of course, VW and GM may have seen a bounce from all the controversy, anyway. Rest assured that neither company intended to offend or ridicule anyone, but with all the controversy, there's lots of folks seeking out these commercials to see what all the fuss is about. As a matter of fact, "Jumper" has already been pulled off of YouTube for unknown reasons. That means people out there are voluntarily trying to watch a commercial, those things we skip over and program our TiVos to nuke. Maybe they're on to something after all.