Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash Forces Luxury Car Brand Genesis To Make Last-Minute Changes To Super Bowl Ad

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Luxury car brand Genesis has made a last-minute change to its Super Bowl LIV ad. Brand representatives believe that the spot, which featured a helicopter, might be seen as insensitive in the wake of the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash that killed the Lakers star and multiple other people.

As USA Today reports, Genesis, the luxury division of Hyundai, had produced a Super Bowl ad that featured a brief shot of a helicopter. Normally, such an ad wouldn’t so much as raise an eyebrow. However, for the past week the news has been dominated by the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his teenage daughter Gianna, and seven other people.

A Genesis spokesperson said that the ad, titled “Going Away Party,” was filmed months ago, well before the fatal helicopter crash. Further, the helicopter was little more than a prop and only in the ad as a reference point for viewers, as the camera, from above, zoomed in on a mansion where a party was taking place.

However, considering that it might be insensitive to the victims’ families, the decision was made to pull it.

“Today we re-cut our Super Bowl ad, to remove a stationary helicopter that was in the opening two seconds of the commercial. The ad had been filmed, produced and delivered well before Sunday’s tragedy, so we took down the spot out of compassion and sensitivity to the families,” the spokesperson said.

You can see the edited version of the commercial below.

Entertainer John Legend, who along with his wife Chrissy Teigen appears in the ad, paid tribute to the late NBA star in a tweet Sunday night.

“Life can be so brutal and senseless sometimes. Hold on to your loved ones. We miss you, Kobe,” he wrote.

Super Bowl Sunday is, of course, the biggest day of the year for fans of pro football. It’s also one of the biggest days of the year for the advertising industry. Considering the tens of millions of people will be tuned in to their TVs during the big game, advertisers are keen to bring out their funniest, slickest, and most attention-grabbing commercials of the year on that day.

However, sometimes, real-life events get in the way. For example, back in 1991, as Ad Age reports, Coca-Cola had gone in on a Super Bowl ad campaign, complete with a contest. However, days earlier, the United States had bombed Iraq and entered the Persian Gulf War. Coke executives felt that the time wasn’t right for a lighthearted ad campaign and toned down the ads.