A series of controversial billboards have popped up in Alexandria asking people if they want to commit suicide or die, ruffling feathers while the agency behind them seem uncomfortably proud.
Teaser campaigns are designed to pique your curiosity, generate buzz, and get people talking ahead of the big reveal. They come in all sorts of different forms – except they don’t usually throw suicide in your face. Alexandrian-based ad agency, Effect for Advertising, is pushing the boundaries of controversial marketing, as they’ve taken to the streets of the seaside city with a series of giant, minimalist billboards in black and white, carrying simple yet morbid slogans like “Do you want to commit suicide?” and “Do you want to die?” in Arabic.
Effect for Advertising’s Facebook page has itself posted photos of the billboards and asked the public what they think the ads are in reference to. The ads have certainly had the desired effect in terms of grabbing people’s attention; images of the billboards have been rapidly circulating on the internet and definitely getting traction. The teasers certainly have shock value, but do you think that using suicide as a selling tactic is insensitive? Perhaps they’re purposely trying to ruffle some feathers in order to raise awareness about a serious issue, such as mental health, or perhaps road safety? Opinions have differed on the ads; many people think it has something to do with drinking and driving, others think it’s about life insurance; some people think the shock tactics are good while others have taken offense to the negativity and insensitivity of the ad. While we neither condone nor condemn the ads, the way the agency has presented them on their Facebook page is not exactly tactful. It's kind of weird and uncomfortable when they decide to promote the billboards on their Facebook page, and the image is asking you if you want to die, and in the text for their post says good morning with fifty exclamation marks and a smiley face. Like, no.
Take a look at some of the comments on the Facebook posts.