Who done it?

There is a recent trend in the viral world, where commercials pop up on the web that are so shocking, that they cause an enormous amount of buzz. However, when people start bringing attention to these "offensive" commercials that are claimed to be in poor taste, the companies featured in the commercial play dumb. 

Both Ford and Volkswagen have somehow created commercials that they never meant you to see. One features a decapitated cat and the other a suicide bomber. They have absolutely no clue how they got on the Internet. They want it both ways - the attention but not the blame.

Both companies claim that the commercials were just concepts and that when they saw them they were outraged and never intended the public to see them. While it?s possible that the ad agencies who created these spots leaked them on the Web, it just seems a little fishy how much "accidental" attention both VW and Ford have received.

View Commercials below: (Warning - content not suitable for children or squeamish adults)

Ford SportKa

VW Polo

In the ad world this is old news, but I thought some of you might have missed the Grand Prix Film winner, which is a gloried way of saying best commercial of the year, at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. The Cannes is like the Oscars for Advertisers. And yes, there are advertising celebrities--the real world just doesn't care about them.

This year's winner was a Honda spot called "Grrr," which was created by Wieden Kennedy (UK), the same folks who brought us "Cog" few years ago--another great spot. (Give the spots time to load--it's worth the wait.)

"Grrr" is an example of how advertising can, in those rare occasions, become more than advertising. This spot is not just an ad for Honda's diesel engines, it's a philosophy of life, using Hate for something to motivate change. The song in the ad, sung by Garrison Keillor, tells us to Hate something. Change something. Then Hate something better. It is no coincidence that Wieden Kennedy is the same agency that created Nike's mantra--Just Do It.  

When an advertiser creates an ad that transcends the product, an actually touches or impacts a person in a real way, some call it art. Others call it manipulation.  

Everyone is original - right?

It happens all the time. You think you just came up with a brilliant idea, you present it to the creative group and someone says "Yeah, that's great, but I've seen it." Then it's back to the drawing board. Sometimes, two different ad agencies are working on the exact same concept for a similar product at the same time. Projects can get killed because another Company launches the same campaign idea first.

Coloribus is a fascinating (and slightly depressing) site that has collected hundreds of examples of the same ad idea done in slightly different ways. It just goes to show you that original ideas are few and far between. Here are some highlights to check out: Ducks and Horse Power

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