The public service announcement, sponsored by Warner Media and the Ad Council, took iconic moments from popular films like ‘The Matrix’, ‘Casablanca’, and ‘Lord of the Rings’ and slapped masks on the characters. Notably, the list included both heroes and villains, including Pennywise the Dancing Clown, a child-murdering monster from the film adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘It’.
Set to upbeat rock music, the clips were interspersed with closeups of an American flag, overlaid by text reminding the viewer to “Slow the spread!” while “get[ting] back to doing our favorite things, whatever that might be.” According to a press release published Wednesday, it will run on donated time on Warner and AT&T’s networks.
The ad didn’t go over very well on social media, where it was dragged as “propaganda” – and tacky propaganda at that.
Many excoriated the companies for not warning of the risks of improper mask-wearing, from bad breath to bacterial growth…
…while others merely complained such spots wasted taxpayer dollars.
Others suggested mask wearers already think of themselves as superheroes and warned against encouraging them.
And a few remembered that less than a year ago, the CDC was telling Americans not to wear masks.
A few eagle-eyed viewers noted the ad was also out of sync with the CDC’s new direction – also announced on Wednesday – which advised Americans to wear not one but two masks. “Please re-edit this for the safety of everyone,” one user snarked.
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