You’ve got to be smart in the ol’ advert game.
There’s been a number of bad ads over the years, the most recent of which being Kendall Jenner’s ‘woke’ Pepsi commercial where she proceeded to strut her stuff in the middle of a protest before effectively dealing with the issue of police brutality with the simple act of handing over a cold, cold can of Pepsi.
If only people would have known it was that easy, ey.
The decidedly distasteful and insensitive advert was widely condemned, proving that even big boys like Pepsi can get it wrong.
I say this because music streaming kings Spotify are the latest company in hot water over a controversial commercial, as they’ve had a YouTube advert banned from the UK over its “distressing” content.
The horror-movie style advert shows a group of friends who can’t stop listening to Camila Cabello’s catchy hit ‘Havana’, which appears to trigger a seriously creepy doll into stalking them.
The doll continues to ambush members of the group who can’t resist playing the song.
One friend attempts to stop the others from listening to the song but the sinister doll’s hand edges into a shot and hits the play button.
The video ends with the caption “killer songs you can’t resist” over the doll’s face.
Check it out below (if you bloody dare!):
Is it just me that thinks this thing is actually quite funny?
For a start the Latin-Pop track that accompanies the video removes any notion of ‘horror’ from the whole thing, while the doll just reminds me of Glynnis from Friends.
The ad – which appeared prior to a video on YouTube gaming channel DanDTM back in June – is clearly meant to be more tongue-in-cheek than genuinely terrifying, but the overall tone of it and the odd jumpy moment would admittedly scare a few whippersnappers.
The UK’s advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) certainly think so too as they’ve banned it for breaching rules of “social responsibility” plus harm and offence.
It came after a parent complained to ASA claiming the advert was “irresponsibly targeted”.
In their ruling, ASA said:
“We did consider that the nature of the ad meant it was not suitable to be seen by children because it was likely to be distressing to them.
“The ad contained scenes that had tense sound effects and imagery similar to a horror film including the implied threat of violence.
“The fact that the ad was set inside a home, including a bedtime setting, and featured a doll, meant it was particularly likely to cause distress to children who saw it.
“Because the ad had appeared before videos of appeal to children, we concluded that it had been inappropriately targeted.”
Spotify responded by acknowledging the ruling and said they regretted any distress it may have caused.
I find all horror films comedic rather than scary so perhaps I’m not the best person to judge.
What do you think? Scary or not?
Images via Getty/YouTube/Pepsi/Spotify