I remember watching Mazda’s Princess Diana Xedos 6 ad in the early 1990s. It must have been scheduled around the 8 o’clock news as that was the most expensive timeslot for ads during the day. It was both shock and awe. The whole of The Netherlands spoke about it the next day.

Diana’s Xedos 6

Just months prior to this ad, the news about Diana and Charles living separately was shared by the, back then, prime minister John Major. Mazda in the Netherlands decided this was an excellent opportunity to launch an ad to praise the quietness of their Mazda Xedos 6.

Diana’s breakup

Their ad will feature a Diana-lookalike who silently creeps out of bed. In the bed a Charles-lookalike (at least his ears are huge) turns over to the other side as soon as she leaves the bed. She silently dresses and their dog squeals. To remove any doubt this is not about Diana and Charles, she passes a bunch of photo’s of their wedding and a big portrait of Elisabeth in the background. She walks up to the garage, opens it quietly and enters a Mazda Xedos 6. She silently whispers Please…just hold me and starts the car. An unimpressive deeply muffled engine sound is heard. When Diana drives off you can only hear the tire noise. The voice-over will tell you the Mazda Xedos 6 is the quietest car on Earth.

Most brilliant ad ever

This must have been the most brilliant ad ever. It has balls, it is daring and it hits the bullseye to transfer the message. There is a good reason nobody outside of The Netherlands knows about this ad. It’s simply because it would have been seen as a distasteful ad in any Commonwealth-country.