BBC News reports today on AIDS charities coming out in full force against the AIDS-As-Hitler ad being put forth by German awareness group Regenbogen e.V. now that condemnation is coming in internationally. What's with all the insensitive FAIL-worthy advertisements?
Bad advertising's all the rage this week: the WWF/9-11 advertisement a Brazilian agency put forth was a complete shitshow. There's a print ad, and oh, shit, there's a video one, too! And now, this? A German agency's depicting Hitler as AIDS, leading to the campaign tag of Aids Is A Mass Murderer. AIDS adovcates are reasonably worried that the world's ignoramuses could subconsciously associate Hitler with people suffering from AIDS, which isn't good. They also point out that, while provocative, it's just not an effective campaign:
Vicky Sheard, the organisation's policy officer, told the BBC News website: "One in four people in the UK with HIV doesn't know he or she has it, so anything that could increase stigmatisation and discourage them from coming forward to be tested isn't helpful.
"The dangerous thing about it [the advert] is there doesn't appear to be any accompanying public health message as far as encouraging people to stay safe and use condoms.
Now that ad agencies can "leak" spec ads into a market to test them out and only catch minimal heat by claiming that the ad was never supposed to see the light of day, it might a good time for them to learn the difference between brand awareness and an effective advert. Just because more people now know about the WWF's mission, for example, doesn't mean that they're necessarily going to support it due to the inane nature of the people who they subcontract for advertising. Why support a cause who so clumsily handle their message, or even worse, put it in the hands of people clumsily handling it?
The really funny-sad thing is that both advert controversies arise out of generally well-intentioned causes. Contrast this with the advertising efforts of profitable corporations: dangerously effective. Maybe Big AIDS Awareness can learn something from Big Junk Food. The NSFW Hitler ad, below:
Though personally, I prefer this one:
Because I'm a sucker for the Downfall meme. Bruno Ganz as Hitler could sell anything, in my book.