Times are 'shitty' and an ad won't help, says latest pandemic PSA parody

Film by Caveat urges brands to donate their dollars to a small business instead

Published On
May 12, 2020

Editor's Pick

As the pandemic continues and more advertisers have dropped their COVID-19 PSAs, the number of pandemic PSA piss-takes has also increased. We've seen Samantha Geloso's "Hey We're A Brand" and Microsoft Sam's take on how "Every Covid-19 ad is Exactly the Same." Now here's one from Santa Monica-based creative studio Caveat that urges brands to stop spending their money on such ads.

The film is titled "Shitty Times" and centers on the message that yes, life is "shitty" at the moment and advertisers can't really do a lot to make it better. Like some of the other parodies, it apes the style of marketer coronavirus messages with scenes of empty park benches and streets, and bittersweet piano chords. "There's only word to describe times like these: shitty. And there's nothing that works harder to make things better than an ad that tells you that everything's going to be OK," says the narrator. 

The spot also makes references to some of the other coronavirus marketing trends such as logo spacing and inspirational hashtags. "An ad can't solve a pandemic," it tells us. But rather than simply slamming brands' marketing messages, it has some advice for them: how about they go donate their ad dollars to a small business instead? The campaign microsite (URL: uselesscovidmicrosite.com) makes some suggestions on how they could do this by donating to the Ad Council or the PVBLIC Foundation.


May 12, 2020
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