If you have been watching the World Cup at all lately you have probably seen a whole lot of commercials and advertisements from a wide range of companies. One in particular who seems to be pushing themselves very hard through what seems like a never-ending arsenal of ads is Hyundai. There are two particular commercials that the car manufacturing company produced that have now been banned due to questionable content that upset some viewers. The two, half minute commercials in question were dubbed “Communion” and “Wedding”. They featured certain elements of the Catholic faith being portrayed in a way that seemed pretty offensive to some Catholics.
Both of the commercials were meant to exemplify the love for soccer that is found across the world. It appears that Hyundai took things a little too far though when they brought some Catholic ideals to the table. Many Catholic blogs and sites have been bashing the company for going too far. The commercial, “Wedding”, featured a crown of thorns rested on the top of a soccer ball, while the other, “Communion”, showed soccer fans lined up receiving pizza like one would receive the Eucharist.
Hyundai of course did not mean to directly offend Catholics with their advertisement, but they did none the less. Their aim was more to rile up fans to outwardly show their affection for their soccer squad of choice, which is why the advertisement campaign was known to Hyundai’s workers as the “Loyalty” campaign. These commercials have been shown all over ESPN and other sports channels, but will cease to be on television anymore due to complaints. Hyundai is one of the official sponsors of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and holds the rights to all the advertisements shown at half time of a nice majority of the tournaments games.
While many Catholics bashed the Hyundai commercials and their intentions, some Catholics feel as though the ad was harmless. Some have even been quoted as saying the advertisements made a valid point at something that is happening within the Church today. Some Catholics think that sports are sometimes placed in front of actual religion in the Catholic Church, and that the commercials portrayed that in a perfect way.
The last of the three advertisements to be run in the “Loyalty” campaign was one entitled “Funeral”. In “Funeral”, a soccer fan is laying in his casket dressed in full soccer attire and holding a soccer ball tightly in his hands. This commercial is apparently not as offensive to the Catholics who disliked the other two because it has not even been brought up in the talks of the other two commercials.
Personally, I can see where the angry Catholics are coming from with their dislike for Hyundai’s commercials. They portrayed the doings of the Catholic Church in a way that somewhat poked fun at it. This could potentially be upsetting and I understand that there were a nice amount of Catholics who took direct offense to the ads. However, let’s not forget here that they were just ads and nothing more. These were certainly not created by Hyundai with the intention of making Catholics angry. People take everything they see on television these days a little bit too seriously sometimes, and it can lead to situations like the one that we have seen recently between Catholics and Hyundai.