The ad by Magyar Telekom, a subsidiary of Germany’s Deutsche Telekom AG, begins with the image of a young woman in traditional folk costume – which she spectacularly sheds later on a catwalk – and an iconic Hussar (Hungarian cavalry) figure which goes on to mock Hungarians.
It shows a young man jumping a cue, a pair of skinhead youth sipping milk from plastic bags and an elderly couple dancing in a decrepit restaurant. The previously mentioned young lady – dressed in white, having shed her folk garb – says: “What is typically Hungarian will be decided by us, the ‘now generation'”.
While the ad was aimed at promoting a modern, “connected” lifestyle, it has seemingly missed its mark by a wide margin. A large number of Hungarian social media users went as far as threatening to switch to other telecom service providers.
Media critic site Médiavadász said the ad suggests that being Hungarian is a bad thing, or at least people generally think bad things about Hungarians. If you don’t want to be ridiculed, you should get rid of your stereotypes and become a technocrat.