Recently Dodge ran a commercial for their summer Tent Event in which a chimpanzee, dressed a la daredevil Evil Knievel, celebrates by detonating a miniature cannon loaded with confetti. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) lodged a complaint against the auto manufacturer for using a chimp in the ad.
Rather than engage in a war of words, Dodge remained invisible on the issue. That is, they digitally removed any trace of Suzie the chimpanzee leaving only a walking daredevil outfit, now referring to the non-chimp as an invisible monkey.
This brilliant solution accomplished two things. It appeased PETA. And generated a great deal of free publicity for the carmaker. Among other respected sources of news, The London Daily Mail online and the Los Angeles Times—not to mention the Hodgson/Meyers blog—have reported on the event.
Kudos to the car company and its advertising agency, Wieden + Kennedy, for taking the complaint seriously and for using it to increase awareness for both PETA and the sale of Dodge cars and trucks.