Neighborhood watch


Copy: DeSex your pet now - call...

Good advertising will stir up emotions. It will sometimes surprise and startle you. But as exampled by this ad, such visceral responses aren't necessarily signs of good advertising. It raises the question, how far is too far in advertising? This ad purposefully plays on parents' fear for it's misdirection (the oldest trick in the book.) And then once the ad has successfully freaked people out, it turns around and laughs "Oh, we weren't talking about molesting your kids - we were talking about dogs and cats. Fooled you." Congratulations, your edgy, far out creativity just pissed off the whole neighborhood. Good advertising is a fine line to walk. I think this one crossed it. But I welcome your disagreements. Agency unknown

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure this ad came from the advertising students at AUT in Auckland, NZ. They had quite clever print ads which had less of a 'gotcha' twist circulated earlier. Campaign extentions can often cross the line but are supported by the knowledge that a high percentage of the community is familar with the accompanying print advertising.

It's good that these ads are debated rather than 'hated' or 'loved'. It only serves to create a greater understanding for clients, agencies and the community in advertising standards and communication in general.

Zeid Nasser said...

I agree with you that this crosses the line.

Smart, but it leaves the reader with a feeling of disgust.

That can't be good for the brand!

Tom Dougherty said...

This is a little over the top, I agree. I also agree with the comment that this does seem like an ad student kind of an idea- which is to say I don't think it was seen by a client. There's no way in hell a client would have ponied up for this.

Like phony milk carton 'missing' ads, this just devalues the importance of the real thing. No good.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. Having seen the original student work which differs slightly, the 'is your cat a kitty fiddler?' is a much larger type than the actual 'notice' that we see here. This changes the whole direction of the ad taking away the instant shock factor. Even if it does shock parents, isn't it effectively making a point? The over population of cats is drastically affecting the SPCA and what they do, just like child molestation drastically affects parents with young children. Clearly this is an actual ad, so the client would have seen it.

Anonymous said...

i don't think it crosses the line but i don't have children so i am not offended or disgusted by it. i think it's very effective in getting your attention and the shock factor vs. comic relief makes the message stay in my mind. It also shifts your thinking about the subject you may not be bothered with and makes it more relevant.

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