My Own Personal Viral Ad Infection

Last night, while trying to complete one of my eight million different projects/assignments/schemes, I had this sudden vision. It was more a memory, really, but it hit me like a bolt from the blue. It came to me like one single frame in a filmstrip, there that quickly, gone that quickly. The image was so sudden and disturbing I had to put down what I was doing and look this thing up, because I had to reassure myself it really happened and I hadn’t just dreamed (or, more accurately, nightmared) it.

What I’m referring to is a long-form commercial produced by Scion circa 2007, intended to be part of a viral ad campaign. I’m guessing the idea was to produce something like Apple’s 1984 ad, but a million times creepier. It certainly was viral, however, because I’ve been infected with it to this day. Put it this way: The ad was produced in Romania, with all Romanian actors, in the most Eastern European-y setting imaginable. Let your mind wander from there.

I saw this a few times, almost always late at night. But when it aired, I hadn’t the slightest idea it was an ad for Scion, or an ad at all. If anything, it looks like a spot for Saw 17. The only indication that it’s not is a URL at the very end, which I didn’t dare look up at the time because I was too terrified. If you visit it now, there’s now hint of this horror, just an almost cutesy Flash-heavy site with lots of boxy things and none of…this.

This is one of those items I never even bothered to ask, “Do you remember…” to anyone I know because I didn’t want to remember it. I feel a little wary of posting it at all, afraid that I will pollute other people’s minds with it as mine has been. So just know, before you click the play button, there are some things you can’t unsee, man!

Happy nightmares!