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 …
Your children’s lives!
If your kids die because you didn’t buckle them up, these are what will be waiting for them on the other side.
I’m honestly not sure how creepy this ad was meant to be.
It’s a Public Service Announcement, after all, trying to warn people about the dangers of not using seatbelts. Frightening the viewer is absolutely part of the intent.
But the way this ad is creepy … feels like it’s not entirely in the way they intended.
Like, I’m sure the intent behind using the cast of Cats, in full costume & makeup, was simply to use the popularity of the Broadway musical to boost their message. I don’t think it occurred to them that the costuming of Cats, designed to convey the characters’ feline nature when viewed from dozens of feet away in the theater, would, in closeup, look so … wrong. Eerily, disturbingly, uncannily wrong.
I’m also pretty sure that, when they start talking about how “the child died”, they weren’t supposed to look like a giant cat orgy was about to break out, but … I mean, am I alone in getting that vibe?
I should also ad that, while this PSA directs itself at parents, I have been assured that this did air during children’s programming. Imagine being a little kid who’s still scared of the monster under the bed, and being confronted with this when you tune in to your Saturday morning cartoons.