Wednesday, August 04, 2004

My complaint to Toyota

I saw your "splitting" Matrix ad (the one where the cars part and merge like drops of water) in the movie theatre again tonight, and, since it still offended me, I decided to write.

Specifically, I complaining about the way it opens, with the Matrix driving straight at the meridian before the tunnel. First of all, the fact that it's the first image that we're presented with tends to drill it into our minds for the length of the ad (and beyond), but, even worse in my mind, is it's being completely unnecessary; there are many other ways to introduce this idea of splitting that aren't nearly so evocative.

Just on the off chance that you have no idea what that image of driving into a meridian evokes, it is almost the exact image that was presented to the world following the death of Princess Diana in the summer of 1997. I asked two other people - keep in my mind that it's only my second time seeing the ad - about the first thought that entered their heads after seeing the image, and they both responded with Diana's death. I'm confident that more asking would elicit similar responses.

Normally, I'm all for freedom of expression in art - it's what kept me from writing this complaint after my first viewing - however, I really feel that this ad constitutes a gratuitous use of that particular image, both in its placement (i.e., at the beginning of the ad) and its relevance (i.e., it's really not referenced again; cars split and merge without any catalyst, if you will, throughout the rest of the ad).

Now, I'm not suggesting that you pull the ad - again, I'm a firm believer in letting others decide for themselves what they deem to be offensive - but I am interested in knowing whether you were aware of the striking similarities between your footage of the tunnel meridian and the shots of the wreckage where Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed died, and if so, why you decided to include them.


John Jarvis

No comments: