A couple of months ago, not too long after the launch of Forza Horizon 3, Aussie car parts retailer Supercheap Auto made an ad which we thought was pretty inspired. It's a great ad — maybe too great, since it's just been banned by Australia's Advertising Standards Board for apparently promoting dangerous driving.
In the ad, four baja off-road racing trucks sprint from sand to port to city, all while AC/DC blares in the background. It's shot with a big budget and we think it's basically FH3 in real life, up to and including the weirdly compressed mix of outback and city locations.
We are trying to stop this kind of behaviour in our streets. The Australian road toll is going through the roof. Advertisements like this, promoting dangerous driving will only add to the carnage. If this ad were for a motor vehicle it would be taken off air immediately...
The ASB's ruling on the complaint agreed that the on-road segments — shot where members of the Surfers Paradise community could recognise the roads in question, some of which are used for the Castrol Gold Coast 600 segment of the V8 Supercars calendar:
The Board considered that the trucks were driven in an unsafe manner in that they appeared to be racing, were driving unsafely through city streets and were driving contrary to road rules as they crossed lanes and went over curbs... The majority of the Board considered that the depiction of the trucks racing through city streets, did so in a manner that highlighted speed and performance of the vehicles or tyres and that the overall impression was condoning street racing or at very least unsafe driving...
And so, as a result of the ASB's ruling, the ad has been banned from broadcast on Australia's television networks. Which is a pity, because in my opinion it's a good ad. It's very clearly filmed in controlled conditions, with a behind the scenes video showing exactly how much time and effort and planning and safety went into the shoot. Although this particular clip probably doesn't help Supercheap's case.
Taking the argument to its logical conclusion, the complainant and the ASB would presumably have exactly the same problem with Forza Horizon 3 — which features off-road trucks, Surfer's Paradise, and, y'know, racing.
If you want to see the ad, don't bother switching on your TV, because it's not there any more. Just enjoy it on YouTube instead, where it still lives happily: