VW Ad – Incredibly Tasteless Or A Hoax?

Bill K. at Rooftop Report has been tracking down the story behind the truly tasteless ad (shown below) for VW since yesterday, This morning The New York Post picked up the story, wondering whether it was an actual VW ad or a viral hoax. The Post didn’t really provide an answer to the question of whether VW was behind the tasteless ad.

This afternoon I found the answer….

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LONDON (Revolution) – Volkswagen and DDB London are distancing themselves from a hoax viral commercial for the VW Polo, which features a suicide bomber.

The ad plays on the established tagline for Volkswagen’s Polo model, “small but tough”. It shows a man in fatigues setting off in his Polo. He arrives outside a restaurant and pulls out a trigger. However, when he detonates the bomb, a flash is seen inside the car but the car itself does not explode. The strapline appears at the end. The campaign is the work of a duo known for their spoof advertising, called Lee and Dan. The pair run a website, LeeandDan.com, but the ad does not appear on the site at the time of writing. They have worked on a string of legitimate ads including Ford SportKa, BP and Casio G-Shock, among others. Dan, from Lee and Dan, said: “The ad got out accidentally and has spread like wildfire. It wasn’t meant for public consumption. “We think the spot reflects what people see in the news everyday, and in this instance the car is the hero that protects innocent people from someone with very bad intentions. We’re sorry if the ad has caused any offence.” Volkswagen stressed that the spot, which has been doing the viral email rounds this week, was made without any involvement from the company whatsoever.

[Read the rest]Good news for VW.

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  • On balance, maybe (but just maybe) the spoof ad is not fit for general consumption. (OTOH, the conniption fits in the Loony Left Moonbat Brigade alone would probably be worth it.) But oh! if only the VW Polo were

    1.) really that tough and
    2.) the best-selling car among splodydopes…

  • I’d like to see the disclaimer on the ad in the “professional driver on a closed course” vein.

    It would probably incorporate some sort of “don’t try this at home”, combined with “VW Polo not guaranteed to contain explosions”.

    FWIW, I thought it was brilliant, and if only it were true.

  • Gene

    When I first read all the news articles I thought it was an insult to say that terrorists drive VW’s, and I was convinced that that’s what it was about. Then I did some searching for the video (boreme.com won’t work) and found it here, watched it, and now I see that it’s actually praising VW. Not only are VW’s tough but they can also handle a small explosion in some cases. Never mind the fact that the individual was trying to become a suicide bomber. The fact that he was, and that he failed (because he was in a tough VW), now that’s funny. This is a great commercial, very funny, and if you drive a VW don’t worry people won’t worry about you trying to become a suicide bomber, it wouldn’t work anyway. So now, lets all go out and buy those little VW’s so that we can make the world a safer place. If all that existed were those cars, then car bombs would be uterly useless. Well, if you take the commercial seriously, that is.

  • Carrie

    Where can I view the commercial? My professor showed it to us in class, but I wanted to show someone and can’t locate a link..


  • ggg

    Funny! thats the true image of the damn muslims. They all wanna blow themselfs up, fukin crazy ass morons.

  • mike

    Great commercial, it really brings home the reality of suicide bombers in Isreal and Iraq. The shot of the mother holding the infant was great to include.

    Its also verry funny in a Wile E. Cayote sort of way.

  • Collin Baber

    Nobody said the bomber was mideastern.

  • Harry

    God I loved it, but my humor is warped I’m a Tratment plant operator

  • Tembo


    The VW Suicidal Clawn ad is absolutedly sensational! As far as viral marketing goes it is up there with John West (where John West fights the bear for the best catch!); and as a ridicule about the patheticness of Jihadists, it shows them in the light of day.

    The thing that really bothers me (and a lot of other people as well) is this, who are we really worried about offending?! Now, if the histaria about this “tasteless” ad were because it might offend family members of the countless numbers who have been violently murdered in the global jihad that Islam’s Muslims are waging on the Free, then the critisisms of this ad would be justified. However, this ad MOSTLY directs redicul at Jihadists patheticness, and in the process gives us a laugh at them – which is very HEALTHY, don’t you think?

    Simply, it makes more sense to compliment the genius in the creation of the VW Suicide Clawn than it does to criticis it in order to protect Islamist Muslims who until now have been feeling pretty good about themselves. Let them see themselves as we see them.


  • David

    I simply at appalled that you folks have found this ad funny. Show it to an Israeli, see how many laughs it gets. The moment that seperates life and a horrific death should not be mocked. Hey Tembo, you wanna know who you’re worried about offending? Try survivors of suicide blasts. I’ve worked with these people. They cannot sleep at night. They grow paranoid. If one of them saw this, a mental breakdown could very easily happen. You try having nails jammed into your skull, then tell me how funny this ad is.

  • I hope all my disciples chose not to blow themselves up in these kind of cars.

    /just some fun..

  • Mike

    Lot’s of good comments, both for and against this ad. I find the ad funny, not because it is inherently a funny situation, but it is an excellent example of “black humor”.

    I remember hearing radio discussions of the black humor that rose to the surface after the 1986 Challenger explosion (NASA = Need Another Seven Astronauts). I don’t recall the details of the psychological reasons given for these types of “jokes” arising, except that there was discussion about people who feel helpless in the face of ongoing tragedy trying to somehow lessen the horror of the moment by using black humor to decompress or somehow try to lessen the horror by doing so.

    But for those who may take this VW spoof ad a bit too seriously, the following is a definition of “black humor”:

    The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.

    black humor

    in literature, drama, and film, grotesque or morbid humor used to express the absurdity, insensitivity, paradox, and cruelty of the modern world. Ordinary characters or situations are usually exaggerated far beyond the limits of normal satire or irony. Black humor uses devices often associated with tragedy and is sometimes equated with tragic farce. For example, Stanley Kubrick’s film Dr. Strangelove; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1963) is a terrifying comic treatment of the circumstances surrounding the dropping of an atom bomb, while Jules Feiffer’s comedy Little Murders (1965) is a delineation of the horrors of modern urban life, focusing particularly on random assassinations. The novels of such writers as Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Pynchon, John Barth, Joseph Heller, and Philip Roth contain elements of black humor.

  • Mark H

    Whats all the fuss? Only the bomber is depicted as being is blown up. If anything, it ridicules the stupidity of suicide bombers. Besides, its also very funny!!!

  • Poster

    When i first saw this ad, and we were to believe it was an official one. I almost expected to see them put at the end
    “No Terrorists were harmed during the making of this advert”
    – that probably would’ve made me laugh even longer

  • mike flaa

    Damn i am still laughing!! They should make it a REAL commercial. It would be great just to see you bleeding heart PC LOVERS SQUIRMING IN YOUR CHAIRS!! THAT ONE PUSSY..”I NEED A SHOWER AFTER WATCHING THAT”…lol! YOU GODDAMN PUSSY!! hAHAHAHAH!

  • Wolfgang

    Some people think the ad is inappropriate. This is NOT because it insults terrorists. It might insult moderate muslems because it plays on the prejudice that all muslims are terrorists (when in fact, terrorists are a small but dangerous minority – even more dangerous than the vocal minority whose e-mail address I’ve given instead of my own). It annoys liberals because they want to avoid insulting people from other cultures.
    So, all we need to do is:
    *) Remind the muslims that are offended that we don’t want to imply that all muslims are terrorists (or do we? with some of the posts here, I’m not so sure anymore). Then they can laugh with us.
    *) Remind the liberals of the same thing, and tell them that the joke is good enough to warrant the risk of some people misinterpreting it.

  • Liz

    This was great.
    I am a military wife, my husband has spent time over there. When he was there I am not sure I would of found as much humor in it though.
    I understand why some would not find this funny, wold you find it funny if you had a loved one over there?

  • Will

    David- I suppose you take offence to Monty Python lampooning Hitler too…?

    If all the world did was laugh at terrorists, don’t you think they’d have to give up? After all a “TERRORist” is supposed to inspire TERROR so if one of them jumped up on a bus shouting “im going to kill you all” and everyone just laughed, I think he’d be more likel;y not to blow himself up.

    I don’t think the Mullahs would’ve said “right, the last thing you’ll hear on this mortal coil is the sound of people laughing at you” I think terrorists use fear as a tactic to try to gain power, if there is no fear they lose their power.

    therefore, by laughing at them, we hurt them.

  • ali

    I found this video to be absolutely disgusting. Its very racist and just plain stupid. Its trying to say that all terrorists are arabs which is def not true. Theres the Mafia, the KKK, and a whole lot of other non arab terrorist groups in the world. SO this is basically a dumb video that only close minded people would enjoy.

  • Flaps O&apos;Hoolahan

    Dude, get your thumb outta your ass. It’s not saying all terrorists are Arabs ffs. Hell, we’re English over here. A lot of the terrorism we grew up with was Irish. But that doesn’t mean all terrorists are Irish or all the Irish are terrorists 🙂

    You’re being an ass. The video wouldn’t be funny if it were serious or even legit. Seriously. Chill the fuck out.

  • J

    I think the ad is hilarious. We laugh to keep from crying.

    I do think it’s interesting how people jump on something that is ambiguous and use it to mirror their own dodgy opinions. The ad itself doesn’t make a statement about the terrorist; it only makes a statement that the car is unexpectedly strong. The rest is in your own mind, shaped to some extent by media indoctrination.

    I can’t imagine being in a state of mind where I would be prepared to blow myself up and others up. I wouldn’t consider that state of mind to be something called “stupid”.

    I think the people here who are using the ad to back up their own killkill opinions are as sick as the people they want dead. Suicide bombing did not come out of nowhere anymore than nukes or guns did. It perhaps offends and scares you more because it comes a little closer to your doorstep than seeing other people getting it on TV… and this is what they want.

    I wish it was as black and white as you want it to be but it’s not; it’s a situation that we all have a part to play in. Terrorism is just an expression used to condemn the actions of the opposition in a longstanding propaganda war. It’s ALL terrorism, or none of it is. If we kill you, it’s ok. If you kill us, it’s terrorism.

    Killing only leads to more killing, hate only leads to more hate. Ask yourselves what you would do if you were given ultimate power. Can you comprehend what that would be like? I can’t.

  • J

    And to Will: it’s easy to laugh at these things from the comfort of your front room. I doubt any of us would laugh if we were standing next to a bomber.

    Your lack of true engagement in what is happening is exactly the reason why these people are doing this. You don’t see that you have the LUXURY of choosing to laugh. Lets kill all of your family and see if you manage a laugh then?

    Likewise, do you really think a person who has the insanity/courage/conviction/brainwashing to blow themselves up for an idea would give a shit if people laughed? You’re in a dreamworld.

  • Lydia

    I personally was somewhat shocked when I first saw it, but I was still laughing my head off for minutes afterwards. That was a damn good ad.

    I can understand wanting to protect the little ones, so thus I can see why this isn’t a “real” ad, though I suspect that perhaps VW did make it, but they’re just circulating it on the internet because they know it will spread like wildfire and by not taking claim for it they won’t be sent nasty letters by the people who were offended by it.

    Frankly, I see no cause for offense. This ad does not proclaim “All Middle Easterners Are Terrorists, Some of Whom Also Happen to be Stupid Enough to Buy This Car, Which Is Small but Strong”. I don’t really have anything new to add, but I am going to state my opinion to counter some of you who are far too easily offended.

    Firstly, again, my main point- this ad does not say that a specific group are terrorists. It is just giving an example. It also does not say that no black people are subjected to terrorism- more observant people will notice that there were no African-decent people in this commercial.
    This ad is making a point solely about the car, and not about other things.

    Secondly, I have the feeling that VW, were they to make this a real ad, would have the sense to show it in countries where this was not a real every day issue, in which case the problem of mental break down would be more possible. As it is, it is silly to be offended here in English-speaking countries. For us, this is comforting because it gives us the chance to laugh at them, and it’s rather hard to be afraid of something you laugh at.

    I’ve gone on for far too long, but I think I’ve made my point. This ad was a real laugh and not offensive unless you are looking for an excuse to open your fat mouth and declare to everyone how offended you are to get attention. Get a sense of humor.

  • J B P

    Oh come on people, this ad is JOKE. It spoofs a fact of life we all now live with today. Grow up.

  • Buster

    Tasteless???? If VW’s are that good I vote we give each Arab terrorit a new VW and a block of C2 as a going away gift!! hahahahahahaha

    Die Jihad Scum

  • Sir Sez Absurdalot

    Ok, admittedly there are too many posts on this site, so I’ll try to keep my statement short. I just saw the video, and like most who’ve posted I LMAO. I believe that for our society, the more absurd something is, the harder we laugh at it. So let’s consider the absurdities of this ad.

    1. A jihadist/car bomber would not buy a brand new vehicle to be blown up in. He would instead give his money to his cause, and blow himself up in the rattiest hunk of metal he could find. therefore this ad is economically unrealistic and absurd.

    2. A Volkswagon Polo would never be able to contain a blast of the magnitude a car bomber uses(going off the assumption that the bomber has a brain), therefore seeing the entire explosion contained within the vehicle is absolutely looney-toonish and absurdly and comical.

    Anyone with any ounce of logic within them who watches this ad, knows automatically that something like this is not only economically illogical in that the bomber just wasted a ton of money that could’ve made many bombs for his cause, but also that it is a physically impossible thing that has just occured in front of their eyes.

    It’s absurd, therefore I laugh.(and so do you)

    Sorry this was so long, I tend to be too analytical. Hope this helped someone, even though I’m way behind in posting.

    Sir Sez Absurdalot

  • J

    Actually it is kinda hilarious, i do understand that some people might think its not, but really, deep inside u think its funny too.

  • The Mighty Quinn

    Do you understand that the AD did exactly what it was supposed to do. EVERYONE is now talking about it, weather you like it or not they (VW) doesnt care. It created one thing thats controversy which then creates PR. Any PR is good PR.

    Not the most tastefull ad but i give them cudos for the balls to make the commercial.

  • Rick

    You know, I don’t understand Suiced bombers. They think when they blow themselves up they are going to be in heaven. But they aren’t going to be in heaven, they’re going to be all over the room. Or VW polo in this case. I think the video is brilliant, it makes a very satiric comment on a realistic truth that is happening everyday. You know what is tasteless? Blowing yourself up to kill innocent people. That’s tasteless. Let’s keep this little commerical in perpsective. Quit being so damn PC, its making you all pussies.

  • Marc

    HAHAHA, that is Fking hilarious. Whats wrong with portraying all Muslims as terroists? I don’t see any other religions running suicide operations.

  • Sam

    I think it’s a hilarious ad. It dramatizes the impotence of the suicide bomber mentality in contrast to the western world’s indomitable, creative abilities. What nut from Hamas could create the internal combustion engine, let lone a nifty Polo? What’s there to be offended about? My only criticism would be that the ad lacks some fun-loving, life-affirming music from the cafe that we should hear instead of any sound of the futile explosion. (But I’m not fussy).

  • I was hilarious. Nothing tasteless about it.


  • Fairy X

    whether the add was funny or not it does not change the idea that the person in the car is , supposedly an arab. stereotyping a whole millions of arabs as terrorists does not send the right message to the people even if it was an innocent attempt to boost sales for VW polo cars. reinforcing false stereotypes about a racial group is simply discriminating against them. people should be respected regardless of their ethnicity,race,religion,color, and social background. I am totally shocked that such ad was aired on tv and many of you think it was hilarious! would the same people think that the ad is hilarious if instead of the guy there was an old ” eurprean” lady? or a teenager? or a policeman? suiciding is morally wrong,killing people is also morally wrong and showing that ad on tv has destroyed every moral principle.

    look for the truth your self