They say there’s no such thing as bad press. If a company is able to stir up conversation around their product, it’s viewed as somewhat successful, even if the outcome wasn’t expected. Holden wasn’t expecting its “Get Up And Tow” advertisement to cause such an outcry, but a portion of the Australian public has found the ad to be offensive and tasteless.
Out of the 2,700 complaints received by the Australian Advertising Standards Board, 161 of them were in response to the Holden ad, featuring the Colorado 7. That makes for the most complaints of any advertisement so far this year, according to Motoring.
The ad depicts the Colorado 7’s rugged capabilities, as a father and son duo hit the backroads, crossing terrain with their caravan attached behind them. Upon encountering a slow-moving vehicle towing another caravan, the father figure comments “Bloody caravaners.” The child then echoes the statement.
Those submitting complaints argue the depiction of aggressive driving, and a child swearing sets a poor standard for those viewing the advert.
Ultimately, the Advertising Standards Board dismissed all 161 complaints.
Holden has responded officially to the complaints, and they’ve countered each point raised. In the brand’s defense, they say the advertisement shows the child safely secured in the backseat, and no depiction of broken speed limits or overly aggressive driving is ever portrayed in the ad.
As for the use of the word “bloody,” Holden responded saying, “Rather, Holden considers that the use of the word ‘bloody’ is a light-hearted, humorous play on the stereotypical characteristics of Australia such as ‘cheekiness’ or ‘informality’ and that most television audiences who view the advertisement will understand its humour and enjoy the advertisement.”
Those of us in the U.S. can’t really relate to the “swearing” occurring here, as the word “bloody” isn’t really part of our vernacular. But, we have to agree on the manner it’s used in the commercial. It’s comical, and light-hearted, and even exudes irony, as the father knows he also is a caravaner.
The ad was rated PG, and was not to be shown between certain hours of the day, with a G rated version, omitting the word “bloody,” shown during those times.
We highlighted the ad once before but, to refresh your memory, we’ve provided the video down below.