Ad Space – The Kids Will Not Be All Right

You are now entering Ad Space, a realm of commercials, brought before us so we might examine how they work, and discuss why we both love and hate them so. So it is written …

The Product:

The Promotion:

The Pitch:
You’re terrible parents and your kids are garbage; you need MassMutual.

I kinda wish this ad wasn’t as effective as it is. Because it does get its point across well, that relying on your children to support you in your old age is a huge gamble.

It does this with some expertly crafted humor, perfect for grabbing your attention and making it stick in your mind. More importantly, it gets the message across without having to explicitly say it. People are accustomed to tuning out ads that tell them what to do. But this ad takes you 90% of the way there, then lets you come to the logical conclusion on your own, and it feels all the more compelling because of that.

It’s a marvelously effective commercial … and one of the most cynical things I’ve ever seen.

Parents who see their children as nothing but resources to pay for their retirement. Children who seem devoid of even the most basic skills of self-preservation. And the parents’ reaction being, not to protect their children or to help them improve, but to write them off and focus on making a new kid/future breadwinner.

It’s such a coldhearted, unsentimental attitude towards family. So the fact that the ad has me nodding along and agreeing with what it’s trying to say … it makes me feel all sad inside, y’know?