“Suicide is painless,” or so went the lyrics of the theme from “MASH,” but while the film and later the popular TV show were able to find a bit of dark humor in that theme, Hyundai has largely triggered nothing but shock and a serious backlash as a result of an ad that poked fun at someone’s attempt to commit suicide in a car.
The online spot has been pulled from Youtube and other outlets and an embarassed Hyundai is apologizing for the misguided effort.
The spot, which had targeted the European market – but which received widespread attention in the U.S., as well, thanks to the borderless Internet – featured a man apparently suffering from deep depression and ready to end it all. He runs a hose from the tailpipe to the cabin and starts the car. The result? Nothing. The ad is meant to promote the fact that this is Hyundai’s new zero-emission vehicle.