Can we please not trivialise critical illnesses in advertisements?

1st February 2015

I’ve been on the other side: “We need to make this creative, get people to remember it”. The easiest way? “Let’s make it funny!”

But using cancer as a comic crutch in an ad is pretty low, Bharti AXA. I’m going to describe the ad the best way I can: a man is sitting in front of his doctor who says “Sorry Ashok, you’ve got cancer”. The next few screens show the man in the background as he watches his son’s new bike disappear. The background music? A comical voice going “No money, sorry sonny”. He then sees his wife admiring a new gold chain before it vanishes – and in the background the same comical voice goes “Honey, no money”. You can watch the entire ad here (longer than the TV version).

The best part is the line “why should your family forgo their needs for yours?”

Bharti AXA, I don’t really see what you’re trying to achieve with this advertisement. I mean you’re saying the words yourself – CRITICAL ILLNESS. A critical illness of any kind hits the entire family hard. A diagnosis binds a family together – nobody’s thinking “oh their goes my <insert family member>’s new bike/jewellery/iPhone”. Yes, there are concerns about paying for treatment etc, but trivialising the situation and alienating the person from the rest of the his family (hey look, you got cancer HOW DARE YOU NOT FEEL GUILTY) like this to sell a policy is pathetic. The least you could have done is replaced a bike and jewellery with something that’s not a materialistic desire.

Yes, I’m probably over-reacting and reading too much into the ad. I just wish the whole approach had been a little more sensitive. Comic elements don’t always make sense.



1 Comment

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    […] few days ago, I wrote about an advertisement by Bharti AXA that I personally thought was in very poor taste.Today, I want to focus on an ad that […]

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