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 …
Ladder, an insurance provider
Life insurance so good, they’re gonna want you dead. (And that’s not me being my usual snarky self; that’s the actual pitch.)
I know I said it in the title, but it bears repeating here: these are real ads, not parodies. Ladder is a real insurance company, they really commissioned these ads, they really paid to have them appear on TV and streaming services. They really thought this was the best way to promote their company. And that is bonkers.
We’ve talked before about commercials that are indistinguishable from parodies of commercials, but Jesus, Mary, and Judas! These go to a whole ‘nother level!
You’re trying to sell people on getting life insurance, something that’s only valuable if a person has people they dearly love, if they want to ensure that, when they die, they leave something behind to support those closest to them. To then suggest that those people love you so little, they’ll murder you to collect the insurance money … that goes beyond counter-intuitive to … I dunno, double-plus-ungood-intuitive?
What really makes these ads is the disclaimer at the end: “But seriously: intentionally killing a policy holder will void all life insurance benefits.” Like, they’re not even saying you shouldn’t kill your family members, just that they’re not going to pay for it. It’s technically a disclaimer, disavowing the psychopathic behavior displayed in their commercials, but avoids going so far as to suggest they have any moral objection to intra-familial homicide. That is some commitment to your dark comedy.
It flies in the face of everything you’d want in an ad, except … they made me laugh. Hard. Like, I don’t have any life insurance, and I never intend to get any. But if ever I did … Ladder is now the one life insurance company I can instantly recall by name. So given that, maybe becoming a morbid self-parody was the smart move after all?