When Dead Babies Become Marketing


Clubbing a baby to death – that’s the advertising slant preferred by ‘Humans For Animals’, an animal-rights organisation.

The advertisement gives the impression that animal rights activists would sooner kill a baby human than a seal pup, which may be true, but as marketing messages go, it’s counter-productive. Most people dislike seal hunting but would not equate it with a human life.

The advert earns points for being memorable. Also the text’s parody of the bible’s Golden Rule, “Don’t treat others the way you don’t want to be treated” is a gallant message (despite the awkward double negative). However the hyper-violent theme means that the message will be lost on some consumers. If the viewer is offended before they really give the ad a chance, then it won’t be effective.

Also from a purely logical viewpoint, the ad is incoherent. Firstly, who let the baby outside without a coat on? They’re the ones who need clubbing. Secondly, if there was a human baby out alone on the tundra, a seal WOULD kill it. Just not with a club.

This is one of those ads that polarises opinions, some will hate it, others will admire the hard-hitting (no pun intended) approach. As a parent, does the above advertisement offend you – or make you think?