Is this poster from Pepsi Max tasteless and insensitive?

 

No.

It’s clearly surreal in terms of creative, and serves the point in terms of message.

But an article on Adage suggests it is stirring controversy, with some comments stating “‘Way to run a campaign depicting suicide in these troubled times”.

I think we should all get real: it’s just an ad! A f**ing press ad! No-one is going to consider suicide after being exposed to this ad! If someone does, he had probably already ordered cyanid and was eagerly awaiting in front of the door for delivery!

One of the few good things about being exposed to so much advertising in the past so many years is that we’ve become capable of understanding it as a language and as a medium. We know what such a message stands for, and it not a lack of respect towards suicide victimes, neither an invitation to go easy on suicide.

I would say that a lot of these reactions are dictated by anticipation for an upcoming uproar, that may  not even exist, at least in  meaningful terms, if it weren’t provoked by such reactions in the first place. In a nutshell, controversy is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

(And a very american phenomenon. The ad is german, and I’m curios to see if it stirred any controvery in Germany, but I highly doubt it.)

 

Final Burp: Consumers know that ads are just ads, and how they work, better than ad pundits.

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