You can trust your eyes. Usually. But marketing campaigns are turning our primary sense on its head. Take, for example, this bus stop in The Netherlands where taking a rest on a harmless-looking bench could get you a lot more than just a moment to hike up your tights and reapply lipgloss. See, this particular bench is actually a scale. And that big blue advertisement? Is actually the display for the scale, showing off your weight in big red numbers to any interested passerby. So what is this guerilla ad campaign promoting? A gym, of course! I’m thinking it would also be prudent to put business cards for local psychotherapists on the billboard as well, as this revisits the oft-debated question of does shaming people about their weight induce them to change their behavior for the better? Or does it just make them depressed?
But it’s not just fitness. As marketers get more creative and more desperate to get attention in our media-saturated world, the new ads range from amusing to witty to rude to downright frightening. Check out this collection and let me know what you think. Are you buying what they’re selling?
This ad for a suicide hotline is very poignant and speaks for itself. Marketing at its best. Although the mother in me can’t help but think that any child tall enough to reach the cut out is gonna rip that woman right off the poster before you can yell “Not my child!” and walk the other way.
Back to the fitness industry again, here’s an ad encouraging people to “get up and run” although I must say I don’t really get it. I mean yeah, the butt’s a little dimply but isn’t everyone’s when they sit down?
This one makes me very very uncomfortable. Quite honestly I don’t think I could use this shopping cart. I already cry during St. Jude commercials! I’d never finish my shopping if I had to look down and see those big hungry eyes in my cart. Gah! I have to scroll down now. Can’t. Keep. Looking.
Again with the uncomfortable although this one ranges closer to the creepy end. If I walked by an elevator and saw fingers sticking out I think my heart would stop. Although it does get its point across – that Guantanamo bay needs to be shut down (which, hello, do they not pay attention to current politics?) – very well.
I dig this one. It reminds me of those cutouts at the fair where you stick your face in a hole and you are instantly transformed into some crazy cartoon character. Except in this one you’re transformed into a convict. I bet it makes it harder for guys to pick up women on subways.
I saved the worst for last. In my opinion, this image of a drowning child – while making an admittedly important point – is absolutely horrifying. I don’t think I could swim or let my children swim in a pool with Flat Stanley kicking off his mortal coil right under our feet. In fact, like the grocery cart one, I almost can’t even bear to look at it.
Anyone else horrified by the idea of sitting on an innocuous bench and having your weight broadcast to strangers? Love the idea of riding in an elevator bracketed by bloody meat cleavers? Ever wondered what you would look like with a ‘fro? How do you feel about this aggressive form of marketing?