John St’s “Text And Drive” Billboard
Drivers motoring along Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway were taken aback when a funeral home erected a billboard advising them to text and drive. Indignant commuters were quick to visit Wathan Funeral Home’s website where they found the following message:
If you’re here, you’ve probably seen our “Text and Drive” billboard. And if you have, you probably came to this website to tell us what horrible people we are for running an ad like that. And you’d be right.
It is a horrible thing for a funeral home to do. But we’re not a funeral home.
We’re just trying to get Canadians to stop texting and driving, which is projected to kill more people in Ontario this year than drinking and driving. That’s right. More. And while most people wouldn’t even think about drinking and driving, over half of Ontario drivers admit to reading texts while behind the wheel. That’s more than half of the drivers on the road today risking their lives, their passengers’ lives and the lives of their fellow motorists and pedestrians.
Which should make you even madder than our billboard did.
Radio Galaxy’s Epitaph Contest
A Bavarian radio station ruffled some feathers when they launched a contest inviting listeners to submit the ‘coolest’ epitaph. Intended to encourage a younger demographic to consider end of life plans, the prize was €3,000 to be spent on death insurance. Unfortunately, some funeral industry insiders found the contest to be in poor taste and subsequently condemned the challenge. However, the contest’s sponsors held their ground, claiming that it was an important issue that shouldn’t be ignored.
Thomas B. Dobies Funeral Home Billboard
In an industry known for its quiet tact, a billboard like this one put up by a Florida funeral home is guaranteed to turn heads. That being said, pre-planning your funeral is an important (and really smart) decision so why not raise a little awareness? Whether or not you agree with the tactic, it’s hard to argue that it makes a valid point.
Buen Camino Funeral Home 2 for 1 Campaign
People were understandably rattled by a Paraguayan funeral home’s sensational 2 for 1 advertising campaign, offering bargain prices for caskets and headstones bought in pairs. Turns out it was part of an anti drinking and driving blitz, arguing that as bothersome as the image is, even worse would be having to use the services. Created with the support of the Association for Road Security and a local gas company, the hope was that the heavy-hitting images would spark dialogue about the dead serious issue of impaired driving.
Come a Little Closer Subway Ad
A Berlin funeral home thought it would be clever to get people talking about them by posting an ad in subway stations that invited passengers to lean in to get a better view. Unlike John St or the Paraguayan campaign, these posters had no virtuous underlying messages. Needless to say, people weren’t especially keen on the tactic, finding it distasteful at best and horrifically offensive at worst.