Friday, January 31, 2014

No, not good

Above is a very graphic and gory Australian ad. It’s all for nothing, though, because the ad is really, really bad. Stupid, even. You have been warned.

The point of the ad is to encourage kids to stay in school because, I don’t know, otherwise they’ll blow up? The end of the ad is just plain silly. Spoiler alert—they get blown up not because they left school, but because they didn’t read a sign. Not the same thing at all, though they try or make an utterly forced connection by stating, “this is what happens when you slack off.” Uh, huh. Right.

I said to the person that posted the link on Twitter that it would make me WANT to skip school just out of spite. Because that’s the perverse effect of over-the-top, totally ridiculous ads: They make people want to do the opposite of what the ad tried to make people do.

Several years ago, New Zealand used to run very graphic ads against drink driving. Many of them were silly, all of them were over the top, but none of them went as far as Australian ads of the same period. I guess Aussies have a need to go too far, certainly beyond the point of efficacy.

Even so, I’m all for graphic ads when they make sense, when they reinforce a tangible, easily understood message. But this ad, with its implication that if you skip school you’ll blow up, is just too stupid to take seriously, let alone be of the slightest use (apart from the comedy value, of course).

And so, this is an epic example of how NOT to do a public service ad.


rogerogreen said...

But you've stayed off drugs because you didn't want my eggs to fry like an egg - am I right? Am I right? (Tee hee.)

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

Heh, yeah, that was exactly it. Actually, I remember how much that ad was mocked back in the day, but I haven't seen a lot of mocking of over-the-top Australian PSA ads. You'd think that nowadays any mockery would be as prominent as the ads themselves, but it doesn't seem so.

rogerogreen said...

So was the Aussie ad a fake? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2549209/Stay-school-die-campaign-Real-advert-fake.html

Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

Sigh. It sounds like it was a fake, then. Not the first time I've been pwned, and it won't be the last. I will say, though, that the reason it was believable is that Australian road safety (chiefly anti-drink driving ads) have been VERY graphic.

Dan Van Riper said...

Okay, so the problem here is that the people who are running the explosives testing, on a pristine beach not far from a populated area, didn't have enough smarts to maintain a decent fence, adequate easily read warning signs and post some kind of security. Maybe THEY should have had some schooling before they were allowed such responsibilities.