We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]


This is beyond the pale. It is completely insensitive and at a time like this, what idiot would shoot an advertisement for TV that used suicide bombers? Appalling…

…Yeah. But I must confess, I howled with laughter.

22 comments to Oh.My.God

  • JuliaM

    Oh, me too….

    Some reports seem to suggest that VW would like to track down the makers & sue them. Not sure why, as it has generated endless free publicity for the car – more so than any normal advert.

    And let’s face it, it hardly shows the dim witted suicide bomber in a good light!

  • snide

    Gee, thanks for that Daryl, but I am guessing most people probably read the text accompanying the clip.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    I can see why you settled on your moniker, Snide! 🙂

  • Ted Schuerzinger

    What I want to know is why people are using the word “creative” as a noun:

    A spokesman for Volkswagen said the company was considering legal action and blamed the advert on “two young creatives who are trying to make a name for themselves”.

  • Elf Sternberg

    Daryl, of course it’s a hoax. That’s not the point. It cost the hoaxers 40,000 pounds (sorry, can’t find that squiggly L shape on my keyboard) to put the ad together, so it’s more than a hoax, it’s a statement. VW is right, the statement probably is “hire us, we’re edgy,” but it’s a statement nonetheless.

  • Bolie Williams IV

    I love it. Anything that makes suicide bombers look stupid or ineffective is great. While we should take the threat posed by these extremists seriously, we should not take THEM seriously. Anything to humliate, degrade, or mock them is okay in my book.

    I would like them to be seen as very dangerous but very stupid and worthy only of contempt, derision, and a bullet to the head.

    Bolie IV

  • Tim

    It’s not the money that’s so intriguing.

    The ad needn’t have cost £40,000 but it certainly involved at least 40 people, and half a dozen organisations, all of whom knew exactly what they were doing. Directors, crew, lighting, pyrotechnics experts (guessing that the bang wasn’t CG – have you any idea what kind of clearances you need to blow things up in the UK?), editors, CG experts, production houses etc.

    It’s astonishing how many smug fuckwits must have been tasteless enough to get involved. What’s even more amazing is how many people will, with a knowing nudge and a wink, be claiming to have been involved.

    Cheers from a recovering Adman.


  • sesquipedalian

    That would be one of the fundamentals of advertising 🙂

  • Verity

    Elf Sternberg – Hit Alt and the numbers 156 on the digits at the right of your keyboard. Voila – £!

  • Jacob

    Wait a minute ! Why would people be offended by this clip ?? No innocent was hurt. No graphic pictures of dead people. Not 1% of the violence and brutality we see in normal movies and clips. So what’s the problem ?? Perry was right to be amused, and the producers right to spread it, as it’s a good idea.

    Here is the catch: it mocks suicide terrorists. That’s the crime! Those big heroes, dying for a cause, and here are two greedy “creatives” trying to make a buck out of their “tragic” death ! That VW would mock terrorists -god forbid, it’s so un-PC. Why, it’s insulting to the ROP (religion of peace) and kaffiyeh wearing guys. It’s unlawful to insult them. They may get angry, and blow up a real Polo in front of VW headquarters with results different from those shown in the clip !

    Bolie IV is right !

  • I’m with Bolie and Jacob, about ridiculing car-bombing terrorists. Tell jokes about them, make them objects of scorn and derision, metaphorically de-bag them and titter at their miniscule marital tackle. It has the effect of making them less frightening to us, and cutting them down to size… and perhaps discouraging someone who is sensitive to ridicule from taking part in something which has a good chance of being the punchline in a joke.

  • mike

    If only we could have government like the car in that advert – small and tough!

  • Kristopher

    If only we could have the government in the car.

    States have a track record of killing far more people.

  • zmollusc

    Can anyone clarify how you can tell that 35mm film was used when the clip one sees is 2.6mB of compressed digital video? Would it matter what quality the original footage is when you are going to quantise it to buggery?
    Ditto the pyrotechnics. The blast is contained so is easier to fake/crop from stock than if the car had been blown to bits in slow motion.

  • David A. Young

    Yeah, I’m pretty up with depicting suicide bombers blowing themselves up while causing harm to no one else. This is how the real world SHOULD work. IMHO, people who are offended by this add should pull the stick out of their ass and beat themselves with it.

  • Bernie

    After looking at it several times I see no reason why it had to cost anything more than a few hours work from two people. If it was never intended for TV airing there would be no need to hire and pay for actors to eat at the restaurant.

    I think Jacob is spot on with his analysis of who was really offended.

  • I really didnt see anything insensitive there… and cant understand how onyone could.

    Er, I mean, I agree with Jacob…

  • Richard Thomas

    Not the Elf Sternburg?

    Hazy memories of usenet returning…


  • Julian Taylor

    1) “Lee And Dan” do not exist as a ‘couple of lads’. I gather that they’re the creative team of an agency who put together small, fast, little ad clips like this one with the idea of snaring the agency business. Given the atrocious state of the current VW Polo campaign I would jump at the chance of employing them, were I responsible for marketing at Volkswagen.

    2) What is this odd myth that 35mm film costs thousands of pounds to buy? A nice Arriflex 435ES Camera (35mm) might set you back between £400 and £700 for a day, plus the cost of a cameraman, camera assistant, lighting engineer, loader/runner and maybe a couple of assistants. Certainly not £400 but in no way £40,000 for that.

    3) From some of the indignant NuNannySocialist responses we have seen regarding that clip, they don’t seem to have a problem with it being a terrorist – more that he doesn’t actually wear a seatbelt while driving enroute to his target destination. Maybe if he had been smoking or even eating an apple it would have provoked the usual massive kneejerk response we expect in this day and age in the UK.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    Verity – my god, you’re right!



  • Doug Jones

    Heh. The ad shows terrorists to be Very Proper Charlies, indeed. The idea of mocking them as ineffectual morons is not new- it was fully developed in Dean Ing’s 1980 novel _Soft Targets_ -wherein a quiet little conspiracy is cooked up between the state department and some hollywood writers & actors to belittle terrorists and their causes.

    I highly recommend Soft Targets for its prophetic look at the symbiosis between terrorism and vulture journalism.