Two Kia ads that recently won awards in Cannes have had many people scratching their heads and asking, “What were they thinking?”
The ads are split down the middle – one side is an innocent cartoony scene with a man or boy and a little girl. On the other side is the same scene, except in its R-rated version.
Kia on Friday called the ads “offensive,” and said they had no relationship with Moma, the Sao Paulo advertising agency that created the spots.
The ads were purportedly for Kia’s dual-zone air conditioning, and read “A different temperature on each side.”
They won a 2011 Cannes Lions awards.
“The ad is undoubtedly inappropriate, and on behalf of Kia Motors we apologize to those who have been offended by it,” Kia said in a statement on its Facebook page.
“We can guarantee this advertisement has never and will never be used in any form in the United States,” they said.
The wording carefully distances Kia’s American arm from the advertising and the firm, but its unclear whether Kia’s headquarters in Seoul contracts with Moma.
Moma has done one-off advertising pieces in the past, spoofing Facebook, Twitter and Skype in retro ads that make it seem like the sites were advertising in the 1950s. But we doubt any of those companies got upset by the rated G pieces Moma produced.
Check out the ads below.