Ultra Tune: Marketing Masterstroke or Mistake?
Car repair company Ultra Tune have released the sixth installment of their Unexpected Situations series featuring women in leopard print and lycra finding themselves in sticky situations, only to be rescued by Ultra Tune’s Director Rod Cedaro, posing as a roadside assist driver. Make sense so far?
UltraTune are no stranger to controversy. In 2016, they successfully produced the most complained about ad of the year, which was so “sexist” and “offensive”, that the Advertising Standards Bureau banned it after determining it was in breach of section 2.1 of their code of ethics.
The ad was the brainchild of the company’s CEO Sean Buckley, who responded to the scandal saying, “people need to lighten up”.
More interestingly, Buckley is also the fiancé of the blonde actress featured in the ad.
So what’s a company to do if they’re perceived by many of the Australian public (and potential customers) to be sexist?
They could donate to women’s charities. Maybe campaign to end domestic violence. Or simply refrain from portraying women as vacuous dimwits in their future ads.
UltraTune has instead decided to hire convicted rapist Mike Tyson, to be their brand ambassador.
We COULD discuss the sloppy acting, jagged editing, inconceivable stunts, bizarre script and the confusing concept of this ad. But all of this is cataclysmically eclipsed by the fact that a company with an image problem decided that Mike Tyson was the embodiment of the Ultra Tune ethos.
Even Tyson admitted it’s “a little bit sexist” on The Morning Show.
And to make matters worse, the campaign is unravelling at a time when sexual assault and violence is being exposed and denounced at large in the entertainment industry.
I think it’s fair to say that when it comes to advertising, UltraTune are better off listening to the experts in PR and advertising, and less to their CEO, because he is seriosuly misguided.
So for these reasons, this week, it’s a