Saturday, March 15, 2008

Terrorism in advertising

Check this out -- looks like Rudy Giuliani's gone into the ad biz:

If you don't quit smoking, the terrorists have won? Yeowch. I still find the use of the iconic "burning twin towers" image in any context other than the original to be pretty gross. Smoking might kill far more every year than 9/11 did, but smokers have a choice -- they aren't set upon by fundamentalist cigarettes and forced to smoke until they die. Tsk-tsk and two thumbs down for ASH and their enablers, DDB (NZ).

Then there's this anti-obesity ad, run by a bariatric surgery clinic:

"Obesity is suicide, but it doesn't have to end this way" pleads the copy. This one is kind of clever, since all those pounds of butter we scarf back are, in a very real way, little ticking time bombs of death. But I still find the suicide bomber image disturbing, and really, unless it's a Monty Python movie, innocent bystanders are unlikely to be harmed when this fatty finally blows. Another one from the same outfit:

Not terrorism-related, but still a bit of a macabre take on a taboo subject. Again, although it's in questionable taste, it's sort of clever (in my opinion). So one hesitant, shaky thumb up to Blattner Brunner advertising.

Looking at these, I can't help but be reminded of this "offensive-on-too-many-levels-to-list" viral VW ad that made the internet rounds a couple of years ago. Although that was a spoof, the more recent entries above make me wonder if the symbolic images of terrorism are becoming acceptable creative department fodder in the ad agencies of the world.

(h/t: wonkette)