The Dim-Post

August 26, 2012

Creepy ad watch

Filed under: general idiocy — danylmc @ 7:10 pm

Snapped this from the car while waiting for the lights to change at the Ngaio gorge intersection.

I like the way it takes a simple wholesome message of target-marketing very young girls and haunts it with the ghost of pedophilia.


  1. YES. My bus goes past one of these every day and I still can’t believe someone signed it off without thinking “hang on, this muddles our message in a kinda creepy way …”

    Comment by QoT — August 26, 2012 @ 7:14 pm

  2. Pedo Bear would approve.

    Comment by deepred — August 26, 2012 @ 7:25 pm

  3. So what is it allegedly advertising? I can’t make it out.

    Comment by Deborah — August 26, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

  4. Yeah I don’t really understand the campaign. Seen some in Ponsonby and Parnell.

    Comment by Chris Bull — August 26, 2012 @ 8:20 pm

  5. Shouldn’t that “MTF” logo below it be “WTF”?

    Comment by stephenps — August 26, 2012 @ 8:28 pm

  6. It’s advertising an advertising company.

    Comment by Vanilla Eis — August 26, 2012 @ 8:31 pm

  7. I pretty much *had* to look at their website to work out what they were advertising. Which is a smart marketing move, because now I know, and can tell people about it, and automatically start building *buzz*.
    My curiosity has made me the media company’s plaything.

    Comment by phetherington — August 26, 2012 @ 9:30 pm

  8. Pedophilia, the last taboo for advertisers to target.

    Comment by Sanctuary — August 26, 2012 @ 9:43 pm

  9. Okay, she looks young, but how is that a ghost of pedophilia?

    Comment by Duncan Brown — August 26, 2012 @ 10:57 pm

  10. As discussed with marketing student girlfriend: “wtf is it actually advertising?”

    Not in a viral marketing-esqe “I’ll go google it!”, more a “hummm well lets go back another time, see what those tiny words say, then maybe work out what the fuck it is”

    (Though it must be said it did cross my mind that it could be a “parenting advice” billboard from Family First or some such group!)

    Comment by Michael — August 27, 2012 @ 12:24 am

  11. How do you get pedophilla from that? whats it even advertising?

    Comment by James — August 27, 2012 @ 1:30 am

  12. So, it’s an advertiser saying to companies ‘put your ad here and tweens will see it when they’re on the way to the mall’…. and then they give her a terrified look… do you think they had a version with her smiling, maybe with friends, as well and chose the lonely, scared-llooking one?

    Comment by Deano — August 27, 2012 @ 6:35 am

  13. Yeah its the look on her face, you can imagine that seconds later her eyes will swivel left and right, looking for a path of escape. She’s trapped.

    Comment by Aztec — August 27, 2012 @ 7:48 am

  14. “Have the last word” made me think it was some kind of parenting message, not outdoor advertising. “Be the last thing she sees” would’ve maybe been clearer.

    Comment by gazzaj — August 27, 2012 @ 7:50 am

  15. This was up a little while ago at the intersection of Ponsonby and K Road in Auckland. Glad I’m not the only one creeped out by it. Would a smiling, non-terrified kid for the stock image (and not at that eerie crime victim portrait angle either) have been so hard to find?

    Comment by Sam F — August 27, 2012 @ 8:01 am

  16. see I’m too lazy to look this up so I just decided it was an ad for an online clothes shopping place…. so you cd go shopping with your sulky teen, online, and prevent her buying inappropriate clothes. although that also made little sense … marketing fail, at least for me

    Comment by lucyjh — August 27, 2012 @ 9:35 am

  17. But why would a teenager be smiling at being told off by her parents?

    Comment by jp — August 27, 2012 @ 9:57 am

  18. Not in a viral marketing-esqe “I’ll go google it!”, more a “hummm well lets go back another time, see what those tiny words say, then maybe work out what the fuck it is”

    Apparently the first cut of the tiny text read “It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.”

    Comment by Gregor W — August 27, 2012 @ 10:15 am

  19. the thing is she looks genuinely terrified, not sulky. so that was why it confused me….

    Comment by lucyjh — August 27, 2012 @ 11:23 am

  20. I think it’s a sign of how hysterical our society is about pedophiles that a mere image of a pre-teen girl, without any context, immediately makes people think about them.

    Comment by Daedalus — August 27, 2012 @ 11:23 am

  21. ‘put your ad here and tweens will see it when they’re on the way to the mall’

    Really? My tween gets up to get something, by the time he’s reached fully upright, he’s forgotten what he got up for, so sits down again. And he’s allegedly intellegent.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — August 27, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

  22. Daedalus

    I agree, but it’s not at all clear she is pre-teen.

    Danyl, what you did was illegal. Have you handed yourself in to police?

    Comment by Ross — August 27, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

  23. “Be the last thing she sees”

    Well that’s frightening.

    Comment by Ataahua — August 27, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

  24. @2 – somebody please please please stick an enlarged one of these in the corner:

    Comment by garethw — August 27, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

  25. “Danyl, what you did was illegal. Have you handed yourself in to police?”
    You assume a camera phone was used? Hasn’t DM had a spot of bother with his smart phone? I feel it is safe to assume that he DIDN’T take the shot with a camera phone. Of course, quite why one would carry a camera around and take snaps of young gals, I don’t know… (joke!)

    Comment by Clunking Fist — August 27, 2012 @ 2:00 pm

  26. What Daedalus said! Danyl, the only thing creepy are the people who somehow read paedophilia into this. I’m no fan of advertising, but I had to read the comments above to know what the heck they were even trying to advertise (ironically, advertising), let alone read in any illusory subtexts of ‘scared pre-teens under attack’.

    And she doesn’t look terrified, just the blank look of a Hollywood plastic clothes hanger. Sheesh, this is the kind of soccer mom hysteria we saw in the 90s, when parents shoved cellphones in the hands of all their kids to ‘keep them safe’ from stranger danger, ignoring all the stats showing the infrequent danger kids face comes mostly from people they know, and the fact their kids could barely read, let alone operate a phone.

    Or was this some kind of back-handed satire on Paula Bennet’s witchhunts? It has the same whiff of hysterical delusion that Aunty Paula’s benny bashing usually demonstrates…

    Comment by bob — August 27, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

  27. I guess what creeps people out about it is that in most advertising, (even if it’s not aimed at you), you know that you are meant to identify with the subject of the ad. It’s either ‘I know you and you want this’, or ‘get this and you’ll be like these people’.

    This ad is advertising young girls to advertisers. The young girl is the product of this ad, quite explicitly. So yeah, it’s uncomfortable.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — August 27, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

  28. > You assume a camera phone was used?

    No I didn’t assume that.

    Comment by Ross — August 27, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

  29. I don’t get paedophilia – I do get abusive parent, from yes, the fact she looks unhappy or scared and the controlling ‘last word’ bit. And the implication that you want to have that last word before you reach a public place with lots of witnesses. Actually, that last bit was the bit that came across the most strongly, I just associate her getting backhanded/threatened with a thrashing to finish the one way conversation they are apparently having.

    Comment by Flynn — August 27, 2012 @ 9:13 pm

  30. Could it be that this ad is actually a great work of art, in that each of us sees a different but valid interpretation?

    Comment by danylmc — August 28, 2012 @ 7:57 am

  31. Well, its certainly effective! Has all of you speculating every which way. Give Danyl another 12 years – then he’ll know all about sulky teenagers…

    Comment by Leopold — August 28, 2012 @ 10:51 am

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