General Motors robot commercial which was aired during the Super Bowl has aroused various reactions from the audience and most of them were not very happy with what they have seen. According to the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Community the commercial encourages suicide.
After General Motors controversial ad, the company has been bombarded by complaints. But according to the worlds largest automaker and maker of the popular GM Nerf Bars, everything is under control and as a matter of fact – they are also planning to air the same commercial again for the Academy Awards on February 25.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI, the nations largest organization that focus on serious mental illnesses, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorders has expressed their disappointment with General Motors through their Executive Director Michael Fitzpatrick, who commented, The GM commercial is recklessly irresponsible. How many national organizations does it take to change their minds?
It should be noted that it was not only the robot commercial of General Motors that was considered offensive during the Super Bowl. Even the ad of Mars, Inc. for its Snickers candy bars has also provoked negative reactions from the crowd especially from the gay community. But unlike GM, Mars, Inc. has decided to stop their Super Bowl ad for fear of further offending the public.
Fitzpatrick explained that the traditional marginalization of mental health concerns is rooted in stigma and discrimination. General Motors robot ad that reportedly suggests suicide may encourage some very depressed individuals to commit suicide. Suicide kills. Depression kills. Obsessive-compulsive disorder can kill. But GM sees those kinds of concerns simply as cute, advertising gimmick. What does it say about the companys concern for public health?
In the ad, the robot that was working for GM drops a bolt on the assembly line and was fired because the automakers obsession for quality. The robot search for other jobs but unfortunately got fired again. Due to extreme depression the robot decides to end his life by jumping off the bridge.
The tragic concept of the ads has alerted NAMI to take the necessary step in informing General Motors of the horrible impact it might have on emotionally disturbed individuals who may see that commercial. NAMI has warned GM that the depictions of suicide in mass media in the past have been proven to increase the risk of suicide contagion, clinical term for copy cat suicides.
NAMI also added that the robot ad may increase suicide cases in the country brought about by the fact that there are a high number of unemployed individuals in the country right now. And unfortunately General Motors with its restructuring program has caused many employees to lose their jobs. The ad will be like adding insult to injury.