adverblog: interactive marketing and other great advertising ideas
Interactive marketing and other great advertising ideas since 2003
home   about   advertise   archives   contributors   submit a campaign

February 15, 2006
Reading Humo can have serious consequences

From Belgium a good idea taken too far. The Humo Magazine campaign by Duval Guillaume Brussels started with an humorous ad (the one I publish, with Saddam), but then just became stupid (and sad) taking the concept to the extreme by featuring a plane about to crash into the WTC. See the campaign on Coloribus and share your comments.

Reading Humo can have serious consequences.
See another controversial Humo ad.

Comments on this entry

Agreed. The Saddam one is damn clever, the Michael Jackson is very much on par. But the JFK and WTC ads are just a step too far into the realm of being tasteless.

Posted by: Daniel, Rogue Connect at February 15, 2006 12:00 PM


Sorry, but I don't really agree. I am a life-long Humo reader and the JFK and WTC ads are totally in line with the brand identity of the magazine. The articles, comments, reviews... in it simply have this typically 'borderline' humor to it that Humo readers (and there are quite a lot in Belgium) apparently appreciate. The ads may seem quite tasteless to an outsider, but somehow they make sense. If you think the ads are way off base, then you'll probably never be a (future) Humo reader anyway...

Posted by: Serge at February 15, 2006 04:01 PM


That's a damn bad brand identity it has. I think this is tasteless to make fun out of WTC crash. This is not a question of being original or having 'borderline humor', this is question about respect. Humo has just chosen the easiest and primitive way to shock, they knew it would guarantee them lots of WOM. Shame they are doing this on the costs of thousands people who died.

Posted by: daria at February 15, 2006 05:02 PM


I'm not a HUMO reader but i'll have to say that this ad is damn funny. It's time the world starts to get over this 9/11 trauma. And humor might help to do the works.
And aren't we making fun with the muslims and the Mohammed cartoons? Don't we talk about freedom of speach and all that?
So we should start to learn to take ourself and our problems a little less serious.

Posted by: Lieven at February 15, 2006 10:29 PM


I’m not offended but these ads are tactless, crass, base, and desperate attempts for our attention.

I wouldn’t give them any awards.

Posted by: Immutably Me at February 15, 2006 11:20 PM


Hey I got an idea an idea for Humo! Let's spoof the holocaust or maybe child molestation? It's about time we got over those, right? While we're at it we can have a whole campaign using the "n-word" with white actors in blackface! It'll be SO borderline, it'll be great! Who with me?

Posted by: Vic at February 16, 2006 02:51 PM


Well said, Vic. The Durex promotional tie-in campaign from Humo was fine, but this series might be taking things just a tad far.

Posted by: Jack Yan at February 18, 2006 10:20 AM


Try to put things into perspective.

I think it’s quite odd. Are you all Americans who find the ad tasteless? Strange you can’t appreciate humor related to things that are done to you (like 9/11) but think humor based on your own actions, like the capture of Sadam, is great.

Comparing it to holocaust and child abuse is as well predictable, short-sighted as dumb. Reminds me indeed of the Mohammed cartoons, where radical groups instantly started to draw their own cartoons were they denied the holocaust. Makes no sense to me??

BTW, if you don’t like the ad, Duval Guillaume just started an office in NY ( Go kick their ass!

Posted by: Steven at February 18, 2006 01:22 PM


Setting aside the issue of taste, what's really shocking about this campaign is utterly unoriginal it is. The basic premise -- a magazine/TV show/wallpaper/whatever is so compelling/absorbing that an individual doesn't notice the chaos/danger around him/her -- has been done to death. Just look through practically any award annual since the beginning of time and you'll see at least one or two variations on this theme.

Posted by: Satan at February 23, 2006 09:00 PM


Steven, for the record, I’m not an American, and sometimes I do find Americans can get precious about humour targeted at them. Let’s just say that in my world, I would have stopped short at using a tragedy for advertising; I also would frown upon the use of, say, the December 26 tsunami in the same way.
   It’s the whole death thing more than who the ad laughs at. I can laugh at Saddam Hussein, and have even joked about Dick Cheney shooting a guy—probably because they lived. (If Mr Whittington died, I probably would not have joked.) Our senses of values must differ, but for me, if someone dies, then that crosses a certain line.

Posted by: Jack Yan at February 25, 2006 12:28 PM


I liked the ad. People dont have to look at the ads always with a sense of sarcasm, they can be annoying and effective, and thats the word- Effective-what they are meant to be!
humor can have many forms...this is one of ém!

Posted by: Neha Awasthi at May 13, 2006 12:47 PM


Archives by category

Archives by month
Subscribe to the feed

Subscribe with Bloglines

Add to netvibes

Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Subscribe in NewsGator Online

Inside Adverblog