Mercedes C-Class kills young Hitler in viral video, Daimler not amused

Young Hitler

Daimler is (publicly) outraged about a viral video that shows its product in a positive light.  In the clip, a new C-Class Mercedes kills a young Adolf Hitler.

In the video, the Mercedes rolls through a foggy Austrian village. The car automatically stops for playing children. When a young boy crosses the road, the car keeps going and rolls over the boy. His mother cries “Adolf!” The car passes a sign announcing Braunau am Inn, Hitler’s birthplace. The boy lies dead in the street, his twisted arms and legs build a swastika.  Super: “Collision Prevention Assist – Sees dangers before they arise.”

The surprisingly well-made clip was not authored by Daimler, it comes from the Film Academy Baden-Wuerttemberg, a publicly funded film school in Ludwigsburg, near Stuttgart, Germany. The video was entered into the “First Steps” young talent contest, which is supported by Daimler, says Automobilwoche.

The clip is going viral, at least in Germany. It garners  both positive and negative comments. Some call it “not funny at all.” Others praise it as “superb.” As the noise level rose in Germany, Daimler distanced itself from the clip. “It is inappropriate to use the death of a child and material related to Nazi Germany in a TV spot,” the company told the German press agency DPA over the weekend. The film students were asked to put a prominent disclaimer into the clip: “Unautrhorized spaoy! No relationship with Mercedes Benz / Daimler AG!”

The small scandal casts new light on the practice of automakers to use viral videos, only to claim that the clip was unauthorized when some viewers get indignant. Mercedes is known for favoring morbid material. Its E-Class cheated the Grim Reaper.  In a Super Bowl 2013 commercial, the low price of the new CLA keeps a customer from making a deal with the devil.