Attempting once again to win the internet with a viral parody ad, this Sunday’s edition of HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver featured a new, perfectly honest General Motors ad that uses actual words from the troubled carmaker’s leaked public relations memos.
In 2013, GM has recalled 11 million vehicles, putting the auto business on pace to break records for recalls in a single year. The recalls have been related to issues with brake lights, headlamps, power brakes, windshield wipers, and a deadly defect in ignition switches.
An embarrassing internal PR memo, leaked last week to the press, revealed the company’s list of 68 banned words for employees documenting the safety issues. As Oliver noted on his show, these phrases included “deathtrap,” “decapitating,” “grenade-like,” “rolling sarcophagus,” “Hindenburg,” “powder keg,” among other morbid terms.
And so, naturally, Oliver and his team put together a brand-new ad for GM, using those very banned words but spinning them into a positive, ending with an enthusiastic new tagline for the auto giant: “Why walk through the valley of the shadow of death when you can drive?”
Watch the clip below:
And watch the full segment below, via HBO:
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