Volkswagen has agreed to withdraw its controversial TV commercial, Jumper, after protests from mental health advocacy groups. The TV ad, first aired on Monday February 12, features a man preparing to jump off a tall building. He is persuaded not to jump by the promise of an affordable Volkswagen car.
The man yells to the crowd below. A police officer with a megaphone listens. “There’s no affordable housing. You think I wanted high taxes or global warming? Reality TV? I don’t even know my neighbours!” At the mention of neighbors, a shiny white Volkswagen pulls up below. The driver looks up and shouts, “Three V Dubs for under seventeen thousand!” The response above is quick. “I’m coming down! I’m coming down!” Three white VW cars zoom into the next screen: the Rabbit, New Beetle and Jetta. Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube
The VW Jumper TV ad roused protests from Suicide Prevention Action Network, (SPAN USA), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), American Psychiatric Association, Mental Health America and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The advocacy groups were concerned that the ad trivialized the causes of suicide, suggesting that depression and anxiety might be alleviated through consumer choices. It was pointed out that many suicides occur as copycat behavior. On Thursday February 15 Volkswagen announced that the advertisement would be pulled.
The ‘Jumper’ TV ad was part of a campaign developed by Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, by chief creative officer Alex Bogusky, executive creative director Andrew Keller, creative directors Rob Strasberg, Tony Calcao, copywriter Guy Rooke, art director Mike Kohlbecker, executive integrated music producer Bill Meadows.
Copies of the ad posted at YouTube are likely to be removed at the request of CP&B.