if your Super Bowl 2011 commercial leaves the lingering taste of "maimed baby" in my mouth, can I gently suggest you've just swindled your client out of money and harmed their brand simultaneously? Sure, you have a point here. Who doesn't occasionally hate babies? I have one in my house, and at times it really is like living with a late-stage alcoholic. He doesn't know where he is when he wakes up. He constantly soils himself. He vomits, cries frequently, and often has violent mood swings for no reason whatsoever. An obsession with bottles dominates every moment of his day.
Despite this all they can be quite charming, which is why semantically even a "TEST BABY" being smashed against a window like a fly against a windshield still kind of turns my stomach, especially when you take the slow, smearing slide the baby makes against the glass into account. Is it well-done? Certainly. Does the baby bear a certain resemblance to the equally doughy and indestructible Olympic wrestler Rulon Gardner? Why, now that you mention it, it certainly does.
Does it make for a genuinely repellent image that wipes out whatever may be in the rest of the ad, including the name of the business? Hell yes it does, since now all I'm thinking when I see HomeAway.com is "this company kills fake babies in nonsensically arranged fake hotel rooms for their company." Fake or not, I'm not sure that's something I'm comfortable with as a consumer or a half-assed annual commercial critic.