I don’t know about you, but I found this ad (on the right) by Virtus Communications disturbing and downright offensive. It was in the print brochure for the Italian Film Festival which took place the first half of this month in Christchurch, New Zealand. I wonder what the heck the company was thinking when they placed this ad. I am just being prudish, or is this fascination with violence and the connection with sex totally repulsive to you too? Got any examples of this sort of offensive advertising online by traditional businesses on traditional websites (i.e. not porn sites)? Post a comment and let me know…
Phil Cockfield says
I kinda agree, however it was not lost on me that the ‘shock’ tactics of the campaign appear to be working well. It provoked you to blog about it, including the image, and linking to their site – which in turn I clicked on, and then spent 15 mins going through their image catalogue (which IMHO is a pretty impressive piece portfolio of work).
Images of death are not altogether bad – I think that it’s a shame we “hide” death from western culture – it’s almost a taboo to die – the faux pas! Itâ€™s the clear tangling of death and sex which is creepy. As far as its advertising value – they are a communications company, and so they have a high degree of licence to shock when promoting themselves – their portfolio then does the trick.
In regards to similar examples – the one that springs to mind is that famous â€œUnited Colors of Bennetonâ€? campaign a few years back, that used blood, and new-born babies, and aids, and needles. It was â€œshockingâ€? and â€œrepulsiveâ€? – unlike the one above though – I fail to see how they managed to sell clothes with this approach.
Creating controversy, as long as it’s kept within boundaries, can be a very effective advertising technique.
Personally, I believe this ad is well done, other than the apparent lack of connection between the subject and the product (which I believe could be fixed with a simple subtitle). The main idea behind any advertisement is to attract attention to the product, which it has certainly done.
Phil, every life form has two basic purposes. Reproduction; to create the new, and death; to remove the old. Both of these should be accepted as natural in human life, even when combined with each other.
john Raggie says
you are just being prudish