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Japanese brand's Swedish campaign pulled as it might offend Americans

Resumé reports that the "Action Jackson" Swedish Mitsubishi campaign created by Garbergs in Stockholm, has been pulled after Mitsubishi in America spotted the ads on youtube.

The ads spoof "MTV cribs" kind of filming and show a rich (presumably) rapper who has a garage full of Mitsubishi's, a zebra, a specially built Mitsubishi bed and the tagline was "not everybody's car". The whole cribs/pimp my ride thing is so late nineties and the campaign seemed pretty doomed anyway, but some people liked Action Jackson so much that they posted the ads on youtube. That's where Mitsubishi North America first spotted the ads and forced Mitsubishi Sweden to put a stop to the campaign, apparently fearing lawsuits for ads that could be viewed as discriminating racist.
Carina Carlsson, marketing & press contact at Mitsubishi Sweden confirms the story when she spoke to Resumé: "In North America they worried how our campaign might influence the Mitsubishi brand image over there. " When asked how this might affect their branding work in Sweden she responds: "There is a risk that one plays it too safe, and we end up only with ads showing a car and a price-tag."

This post brought to you by this Mitsubishi tear-jerker commercial, a million miles away from the Action Jackson crib image.

Edit: Fixed that stupid Swenglish translation, "discriminating" in the Resumé article means "racist".

I wanted to describe all ads properly for those of you who haven't seen them, but it's been a while since I saw them as well. Here's my best shot:

In one ad, Action Jackson prances about with a Zebra on a leash, trying to feed it some beef. I have no idea what that is supposed to mean except that Action Jackson is really stupid and perhaps that Mitsubishi buyers are as well?

In another, Action Jackson and his pal are talking in the car while cruising - Resevoir Dogs Pulp Fiction style - and they discuss fried chicken for a full minute. I wish I could recall all the lines. Seems that Swedes didn't get it at all, and this might be the ad that offended the american Mitsubishi HQ.

In another, Action Jackson is on the phone when his mother comes to serve him some tea and tuck him in to his car-bed. Le pointless.

Thanks to Nick Parish for reminding me to explain that fried chicken one.

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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kurtberengeiger's picture

Just as well, the campaign was never that good anyway.

Dabitch's picture

Yeah, I thought it was rubbish and I recall that the first time I saw the chicken one, I thought I was dreaming. Ads are only that crap in my nightmares.