Mercedes Benz C-class car model is known for its tag line: "Mercedes Benz - automatic braking system - detects dangers before they arise." However, film students from Germany's Ludwigsburg film academy are now in hot waters for creating a pun out of the Mercedes' tag line through a spoof ad showing a young Adolf Hitler being hit and killed by the car.
The video is now viral, as it sparked debates among netizens. The car company itself, Mercedes, claimed it was distasteful and inappropriate, while others claimed the ad was just being witty.
The spoof ad showed a Mercedes car passing along cows and working people along the road of Braunau am Inn, Hitler's birthplace. The car then stopped to avoid hitting children crossing the road.
The car then continued running along the road.
Then, a dark-haired boy was shown playing happily with his kite. He was too consumed with his kite up in the air that he failed to notice the approaching car. The boy was then hit by the Mercedes car, followed by his shocked mother screaming his name, "Oh, Adolf."
The boy was shown lifeless on the road as the subtitle "Mercedes Benz -- automatic braking system -- detects dangers before they arise" appears on the screen.
Apparently, as revealed by the German filmmakers, Mercedes had already legally obliged them to make a disclaimer, crystal clear, that Mercedes was in no way associated with the spoof ad.
"Unauthorised spot - no affiliation with Mercedes/Daimler AG," said the disclaimer.
The video was published in Aug. 23, 2013, and viewers were already debating about the Mercedes spoof ad. One blogger said that Mercedes should be happy about the free, and obviously effective, advertising it got through the spoof ad. The majority of the netizens who have watched the ad congratulates the German filmmakers for the clever Mercedes spoof ad.
"Mercedes sells its cars on smart technology which prevents accidents -- we wanted to pose the question of what might happen if technology had a soul," said Tobias Haase, the video's director, in a report from The Independent. The video was created along with Ludwigsburg students Lydia Lohse, Jan Mettler and Gun Aydemir.