Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Stepping on the Wrong Toes

As both an Advertising major and a Brazilian citizen, I try to keep a look out for good campaigns rolling out in Brazil in order to stay on top of the advertising trends there. Last year, I was ecstatic to log on to Twitter and see that Brazil and DDB were some of the trending topics. I logged into AdAge to find out that just before September 11th, 2009, DDB Brazil (*or supposedly employees who no longer work for DDB Brazil) launched this ad virally.

Everyone was bashing Brazil, DDB, and most importantly this ad. Just to find this video I started typing in "DDB Brazil" to google and 'ddb brazil scandal' was the first thing to pop up. It was horrible; big advertising no-no. I get the idea that they were trying to portray- they were trying to be shocking, trying to get people to talk about it, trying to get people to lend a helping hand to tragic events in other parts of the world. But when does controversial advertising just cross the line?

Sometimes foundations such as the WWF need drastic measures to motivate people, but never EVER should ads criticize or dwarf other tragic events around the world. Both events were tragedies in their own ways; I'm sure those who lost loved ones in the 9/11 felt just as much pain as those who lost family and friends to the tsunami. Ad agencies are trying harder and harder to create ads that generate buzz. But whoever said the quote "There's no such thing as bad publicity" was terribly wrong. So as competition amongst agencies increases and it becomes harder and harder to break through the clutter, companies need to create their own boundaries that should not be crossed.

I usually really appreciate Brazilian ads for being creative and thinking outside the box, being somewhat more edgy. However, this time I was disappointed.

Stepping on the Wrong Toes

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