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Is this simple commercial really as controversial as people claim?

Mental Health Activists Overreact to BMW Connected Drive Ad for 2015 BMW X3 xDrive

What’s so offensive about this simple commercial?
Photo: BMW USA via YouTube

A certain BMW commercial caused a stir during the NCAA tournament these past weeks. Specifically, the 30-second television spot for the brand’s connected communication technology received sharp backlash from a mental health organization.

While most people who’ve watched the “Cute Cottage” commercial brush it off as a simple horror trope spoof to promote the 2015 BMW X3 xDrive, a certain segment of the population sees it as highly offensive.

Watch the commercial below and see how you react.

Debate over “Edgy” BMW Commercial Incites Criticism

Did you catch anything offensive in the ad? Perhaps when the couple in the BMW see the creepy woman on the cottage porch, who might-or-might-not be responsible for past “slayings,” call her “crazy,” and drive away?

In an interview with CNBC, Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health, said, “We’re not happy when somebody uses that word [crazy]…it’s an old stereotype that someone with a mental illness is dangerous…It was saying that word, and then behaving as if someone who has a mental illness doesn’t deserve your help…They’re just going to walk away.”

“I was really quite shocked,” she continued. “I thought they were a more sophisticated company, to be honest.” On behalf of her umbrella organization, which represents over 2,000 mental health groups, she wrote BMW to “pull it [the ad] immediately,” then suggested BMW executives take one of the Council’s classes on “Mental Health First Aid.”

BMW stood its ground and, although apologizing that Rosenberg’s group found the ad offensive, didn’t pull the commercial from airing. Both groups exchanged a number of snarky comments questioning the other’s sensitivity and maturity.

Eileen Paletta, BMW’s executive customer communications manager, asserted the ad was purely a spoof of horror movies. Many commenters on the CNBC’s story accused Rosenberg and her group of being “oversensitive” and needing to “lighten up.”

What do you think? Was this response overreacting, or did Rosenberg have a point about our perception of the mentally ill?

Mental Health Activists Overreact to BMW Connected Drive Ad for 2015 BMW X3 xDrive crazy woman

Does this woman look dangerous to you?
Photo: BMW USA via YouTube

News Source: CNBC