Eek! You Just Know Off-Camera Disaster Lurks in a Pair of Hilarious TV Spots for a Children’s Emergency Center, but the Hilarity and Danger Create a Marketing Triumph
// By Peter Hochstein //
How brave do marketers have to be to use humor in a spot for pediatric emergency care that shows kids flirting with danger?
Uh oh! Trouble in the backyard.
On a steeply sloping patch of lawn, three girls who appear to be the right age for middle school have erected a slip-and-slide. It’s made out of plastic sheets, a shower curtain, and plastic hoops, all dead-ended at the bottom of the slope by a pile of concrete cinderblocks. One of the girls is lubricating the plastic sheets with a squirt bottle.
“What’s the best time?” asks a girl at the top of the slide. She’s wearing a bathing suit and protective goggles, an intensely determined expression on her face as she prepares to leap. A friend tells her it’s 4.9 seconds.
“Light it,” says the goggled girl grimly, and with that, one of the hoops that the girl will have to slide through bursts into flame.
What could possibly go wrong?