The caption of this print ad is “Well, at least he drives a Prius.” The obvious joke is that we can forgive even murder if a person is working to save the planet. This is not an official Toyota ad – it’s a project undertaken by the proprietor of a design firm in order to gain notoriety. And it’s working – I read about it on the Trendhunter Magazine site. There are two other treatments of the same concept there: a man soliciting a hooker and a housewife making out with the gardener.
I was originally going to write about this ad being an example of what is happening to interruption marketing – it has to get increasingly funny or sexy or loud or shocking in order to get our attention. But in the course of researching this example of outrageous ideas being used to sell stuff, I encountered a few roadblocks.
Both the creator of the concept (according to Trendhunter), David Krulik, and the photographer, Luke Stettner, are easy to find with Google. However, I could find no mention of the Prius ads on either of their sites. If I were the author of a successful viral campaign designed to bolster my reputation and career, I would let people know they had found the genius behind the campaign as soon as they landed on my site.
Anyway, speaking of outrageous ideas in ads, especially in cultures where they are allowed to be a little more off-the-wall with television ads, check out this spot from Thailand: