Dr Mumbo

Using JFK’s assassination to sell Mazdas? That won’t end well

Sometimes an ad so spectacularly ill-conceived crosses Dr Mumbo’s radar that he wonders if he’s being pranked.


For instance, a car company thinking the assassination of an America president would be a good way of selling its blind spot detection technology.

But that’s what dropped in Dr Mumbo’s inbox.

It came from the Israel office of BBR Saatchi & Saatchi.

The print ad features a hand-drawn sketch of the John F Kennedy motorcade at Dealey Plaza in Dallas in 1963, just before he was assassinated.

Kennedy sits in the back of the limo, next to wife Jackie…


The only coloured detail on the otherwise black-and-white image is a yellow light in the sixth-floor window of the Texas School Book Depository – where JFK’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald waited with his rifle.


You see, the yellow dot represents Mazda’s blind spot monitoring system, which illuminates on the rear-view mirror when its radar detects an unseen threat.


Completing the ad is the slogan: “Spot the threat in time”.


At first, Dr Mumbo suspected a prank – albeit one where somebody had gone to a lot of trouble.

Perhaps it was like the time a couple of creatives created a memorable ad for the VW Polo titled “Terrorist”, which turned out to be on-spec rather than official.

After all, the agency – and presumably local brand manager in question – would understand that the ad would be seen in the US. Wouldn’t they?

But Mumbrella has been on this agency’s mailing list for some time, and the campaign was sent out in the same way that its new campaigns are always distributed, from the same person.

And they even provided credits, featuring the agency’s real staff. Here they are:


  • CEO: Yossi Lubaton
  • Chief Creative Officer: Jonathan Lang
  • Creative Director: Eran Nir
  • Art Director: Niv Herzberg
  • Copywriter: Ronen Kornberg
  • Illustrator: Meraby Gefen
  • VP Client Services: Ben Muskal
  • Account Supervisor: Chen Halpern
  • Account Executive: Gil Gershon
  • Creative Coordinator: Eva Hasson
  • Traffic Coordinator: Ronit Doanis

And it’s already been listed on the Coloribus advertising archive.

Plus the agency does actually list Mazda as a client on its website.


So yep, it seems to be a real ad.

Mazda, Dr Mumbo suspects, will wish it wasn’t.


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