“Who knew a kick to the groin could be so educational?” asks Science World of their latest television ad. Except this commercial is only available on YouTube, since it was deemed “too violent” for TV.
The ad, called “Positively Painful,” was done by the Rethink agency. The 30-second bit shows the main character stepping on a nail, getting kicked in the crotch, struck by a flaming arrow, and being hit by a school bus, all while cheerily greeting everyone he meets. While less violent than the average hockey game or “Law & Order” rerun, the ad nonetheless fell prey to the Canadian censors hammer, on the grounds it “appear[s] in a realistic manner to exploit, condone or incite violence.”
Err, really guys?
Science World and Rethink decided to put the ad out anyhow, but not on television…on YouTube.
“Absolutely, positively, the most violent science museum ad you’ll see all day,” Tweeted Rethink.
“Every other clip on YouTube has someone failing an epic stunt or getting kicked in the junk. We really didn’t think this was pushing it,” says Chris Staples, one of Rethink’s founding partners and National Creative Director, in a release issued Wednesday.
“We’re surprised the fun, slapstick script was not approved by Canadian censors,” says Suan Teo, Science World’s Director of Marketing, “from our experience using comedy and an element of the unexpected is a great way to make science facts stick—and that’s what we’re all about.”
Maybe the censors should rethink their decision on this one.
Science World, with the help of Rethink, has made their media mark with controversial and highly creative advertising, like last year’s banned batch of ads for their sex exhibit.