Peter York on Ads: Road safety - When the dead girl talks, do those deaf to reason hear?
This 30/40mph trade-off is re-explained - we've heard bits of it before - in a new road safety commercial: "30 - it's for a reason," it says. It's quite a compelling idea and it gives valetudinarian types something to lecture people about.
But this crisp, necessary point is obscured by the treatment which, in a very fashionable distracting way, involves somebody dead talking to you. From Twin Peaks to Desperate Housewives, taking in Six Feet Under, dead people have become vocal.
Here, the child you have to feature in road safety commercials is a talkative, dead one. At first she's lying at a suburban roadside, very pale with a trickle of blood from her ear, but nonetheless still doing the voice-over: "At 40 there's an 80 per cent chance that I'll die," and so on.
Then - and this is the deeply distracting bit - they put her into reverse. The blood runs back into her ear, she slides into the middle of the road and opens her eyes. It makes you think about the stylisation of the approach, the tellyness of it. And yet it may just work at the level of providing a memorable hook - particularly for people who hyper-register anything involving children.
Road safety advertising needs to work a small budget hard, it needs to be shocking in ways people can internalise rather than reject and it needs to use every trick in the book - like the motorcyclist who collides with an invisible car - while seeming naturalistic. Life can be heightened but, the convention has always been, it shouldn't look like fiction. This commercial takes that risk in a good cause. I'd like to know if it works.
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
- 4 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Justin Bieber posts Instagram photo of Orlando Bloom crying after Ibiza fight 'over Miranda Kerr'
Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £24000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider of web based m...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Secretary (Sales Team Support) - Mat...
Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an Assistant Management Ac...
£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...