Wednesday, November 5, 2008

There really are no accidents

by Katrocket from Rocketradio

Although we spend a lot of time on this blog making fun of outright stupidity in advertising, I wanted to share this ad with you, and not because it's terrible or lame, but because it's hands-down the most graphically disturbing, jaw-dropping, scary-as-hell commercial I've ever seen in my lifetime. I know - that's a huge statement, and I must be exaggerating.

Well, I'm not. During a recent interview, I was asked about ads that have had a profound and lasting emotional effect on me. This spot is one of very few that immediately came to mind, and it doesn't even try to sell me a product, but rather a concept, which is often more difficult to do.

It was only released in the Canadian market, so I doubt many of you have had a chance to see this. Every time this spot came on, I would dive for the remote and turn the channel as soon as possible - not because it was annoying or rage-inducing, but because it gave me fucking nightmares.

I'm into film violence and horror flicks, and definitely not a scaredy cat, nor is it very easy to shock me. And this is certainly NOT a case of "Fire That Agency". The agency who created this spot, FCB Toronto, and their 2006 campaign for the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Canada (WSIB) far exceeded their goal of drawing attention to the prevention of workplace accidents, and promoting their website ( I must give immense praise to the team at FCB, because after you see this spot, even if it's only once, you'll get the message and never, ever, be able to forget it. This is about as powerful as advertising gets.

WARNING: THIS CLIP IS NOT INTENDED FOR YOUNGER VIEWERS AND MAY CONTAIN IMAGES THAT MOST NORMAL PEOPLE FIND DISTURBING. It is safe for work, but you are likely to scream and possibly yell out "holy fuck!" really loud, causing a general panic amongst your colleagues, so please brace yourselves accordingly.

"Top Chef" by FCB Toronto - for WSIB Canada

There are several more ads in this series, all excellent, all bloody frightening. The rest can viewed at the links below (be brave):


Shop Girl

Family Guy


Sleeve (2008 campaign - currently airing in Canada)

Window Washer (2008 campaign - currently airing in Canada)

Stay tuned later in the week, when we'll return to a lighter look at badvertising, with a daring exposé on ShamWow Vince's dreaded non-German "imitators": The Magik Cloth, The Magic Shammy, The Super Shammy, and Zorbeez ... get yo spillz on!


Poobomber said...

Holy crap!

Now THIS is advertising - never before have I seen commercials that impacted me so much.

Wow. That ad agency deserves a bonus.

BeckEye said...

What in the holy hell?

This is like those car insurance commercials where a sweet little family is sitting in their car, chit-chatting at a red light and a giant truck comes out of nowhere and smashes the shit out of them.

By the way, back in my waitressing days, I routinely spilled hot soup all over my hands. So much so that I think I became immune to it. Or developed what they call "nerve damage."

Red said...

Dude. Your build up was so intense left me scarred to click! But click I did, and now I'll never carry pots in my kitchen the same again.

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

I totally do the same thing when this ad comes on. The first time I saw this all the way through I felt nauseous. The newer ones work well with their sense of foreboding and doom.

The Guv'ner said...

I guess that's what you call advertising doing its job, in that you're right, you'll never forget that thing once viewed.

I can imagine people watching that innocently then wham! Awesome.

If you want to make an impact, go for shock. Works every time.

SkylersDad said...

Advertising for good I would say. You are right, you only need to watch it once, and it sticks.

Jon said...

Holy Crap! I'm afraid to go in my kitchen now. Well, more so anyway.

Gwen said...

I was afraid to watch it and decided I wouldn't and then screwed up the courage and it wouldn't load. And now the courage is gone.

Some Guy said...

You crazy Canadians! That was brutal.

pistols at dawn said...

Serves her right for trying to find love and domestic goddessdom.

ginger b said...

I know you warned me not to watch but I'm still going to be angry with you knew I wouldn't be able to resist!

Dee said...

I can't watch it either as I suspect it's similar to an ad campaign being run in Australia at the moment to caution young workers on Work Safety - truly horrific stuff that I think gets the message well and truly out there.

ÄsK AliCë said...

Wow, I'd never seen those before - so crazy!

I'm sitting here in a little bit of shock