Monday, April 18, 2011

Truth.com "Splodes" With Deadly Message











This must be a Red Bull ad.

No wait ... it's a Mountain Dew ad.

Or maybe it's a Monster energy drink ad.

No, no and no.

It's an ad for Splode ... a dynamically charged new soft drink that satisfies even the most daring of daredevils.

I must admit I was drawn into this ad last night, thinking that Red Bull or Mountain Dew was being challenged by a new energy soft drink.  Just what we need, right? Another highly caffeinated drink to provide that necessary boost of energy at those times when we feel most lethargic.

The ad opens with a group of young people bungee-cording from a bridge, attempting to plan their jump perfectly so they can grab a can of soda perched on a rock below.  As they reach the rock, they grab the can and take a massive hit of soda. Person after person reveals their expertise at taking the perfect swan dive towards the can.

The final person grabs the soda. The camera zooms in on the product. Ahhh ... the name is revealed. New Splode soda!

The person is pulled back up towards the bridge in a wide-reaching arc and then .... explodes?

I stopped what I was doing and looked at the TV screen to try to comprehend what this ad was trying to tell me. In its final frames, the following message leaped on to the screen:


It turns out this ad had nothing to do with soft drinks, getting an energy boost or attempting bungee cording. It was an ad by the Truth campaign. A message that pointedly tells viewers that tobacco kills one-third of the people that smoke it.

For me, this ad was a surprise from beginning to end. In some ways, it reminds me of their earlier Shards 'O Glass Freeze Pops ad, but in other ways it felt more realistic and more effective at grabbing my attention and delivering the punchline.

Maybe it's the fascination of watching someone do something that you would probably never do yourself - throw your body off a high bridge, with only 8 inches of cord separating you from sure death. I mean, after all, isn't that why so many people go to the races - to see if there will be a crash? Or the reason why they go to a boxing match - to see if there will be a knockout? Or even go to a hockey game - to see if a fist fight will break out on the ice?

So, now they have our attention. But, it always comes back to that age-old question, doesn't it?  Is this ad effective enough to encourage someone to toss their cigarette pack in the trash?

My guess is that they already know all the deadly statistics associated with putting that cigarette in their mouth. But, for a whole bevy of reasons, they haven't wanted to - or haven't been able to - quit.

But, truthfully, that doesn't mean that Truth.com should stop trying.

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Sue Northey - Find me on Bloggers.com