Death is inevitable, and we don't like to talk about it. A UK company is trying to change that with "edgy" ads, for example, people running on a beach carrying coffins as surfboards.
The ads are causing a stir. Transport for London, which regulates the city's ads, rejected them as potentially causing “serious and widespread offense," although officials hadn't actually seen the ads. Still, on social media, people referred to the ads as "shocking,” “vile,” “insensitive,” and “tasteless.”
The ads compare burial and cremation prices, and one offers "one-way" travel with "roasting temperatures." The ad company founder defended the approach:
“Our reluctance to talk about death is the reason funeral costs continue to spiral and why you pay far too much for writing a will or settling an estate. That’s what we seek to change.”
- Why do we have a difficult time talking about death?
- How would you describe the ads and the agency's strategy?
- Could the ad strategy bring about a positive change? Will the ads bring in business?
- What if these ads ran in the U.S.? How, if at all, do you think the response might differ?