Mount Pleasant Group - Quitbit - (2015) 1:44 (Canada)

Hands up, who has one of those wearable wristband gizmos that counts the number of steps you take? Or lets you track the length of your run and plot it on a map via GPS? (Why you’d care to do this is beyond me). Well, Mount Pleasant Group has a surprise for you – the ultimate fitness tracker – only instead of counting your physical steps, it’s counting down your steps to the grave.

The idea is novel, and the presentation smart. I am particularly enamored by a juxtaposition shot of the young runner and the older scientist who’s getting awfully close to his fried-chicken myocardial infarction. The entire ad reads like the opening scene of an episode of Charlie Brooker’s near-future dystopian sci-fi morality tale Black Mirror.

In fact, initially I thought I was actually watching a teaser for the next series of Black Mirror.

The only problem here is the lack of a coherent segue or tonal shift. There’s no delineation between the unsettling science-fiction world, and the real world were Mount Pleasant Group are offering to help me plan my funeral. That’s the salient issue – the narrator is still the same person, speaking in the same faux-British accent, continuing the same morbid joke.

“We wanted it to be different and fresh,” said Glen D’Souza, associate creative director at Union, the Toronto ad agency behind the campaign.

I really do like this ad, but I think they kept the creepy uncanny valley theme going way too long, when really what was called for was a tonal shift to bring us back into the real world. Because in reality, no one wants a funeral plan from the twilight zone.

Client: Mount Pleasant Group
Agency: Union

AnonymousCoward's picture
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Dabitch's picture

Shades of "when will I die" sites.

David Felton's picture

Good point - I didn't consider that.

I'm sure mine would just say "Stop eating pizza" before giving me the blue screen of death.

N.B. I didn't mention this in the above piece, but "Quitbit" sounds like an app to help you give up smoking. I just googled it, and lo-and-behold, Quitbit is an app to help you give up smoking.