Sometimes Absurdity Is The Only Way To Deal With Tragedy

Here’s a case where advertising’s importance, and ability to do good, can’t be missed.
More than 150 kids have been shot this year in Chicago–more than 25 of them shot dead–a cold fact found, of all places, in this bus shelter ad from Young & Rubicam/Chicago and the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence.
Here’s a line of body copy from one of the posters in the campaign: “Whether it’s just a bit chilly or raining bullets, this cozy vest is sure to protect your child from all the elements.”
Wow, I’m stunned that such a weighty matter would be handled in a cavalier fashion. Yet, it’s the kind of thing that could wake someone from their stupor.
[via Chicago Sun Times]

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Hi David:
    I know what you mean, but its been getting really bad here with items in the news that they want to send in the National Guard. Within the past year, I’ve even heard of some kids getting shot inside their own homes and minding their own business and beaten to death on their way home from school. It might be a bit cavalier, but it is tastefully done. I’m almost surprised he’s not wearing riot gear. I certainly hope this ad and others in the campaign can make a difference.

  2. The National Guard is exactly what the city needs, along with some good “old-fashioned” public outcry. Hopefully Y&R’s ads will punch those who have lost loved ones on Chicago’s streets right in the gut, inciting an outcry. While I wouldn’t normally advocate using another’s grief to stir action, sometimes life-threatening situations call for callous action.