Sadly, it’s not all that rare for advertising to cross the line and present messages, intended or otherwise, that are seriously not okay. This ad for an iPhone app, starring model Bar Refaeli, is probably one of the worst we’ve seen in recent memory, and the totally effed-up nature of it was anything but a mistake.
The commercial, which is supposed to be selling an application to quickly pay restaurant bills via smartphone, begins with Refaeli (who was recently in another bizarre, albeit less terrifying, ad) sitting alone in a restaurant. It very quickly becomes clear that her waiter has a stalker-level interest in her, and begins trying to win her over. But the really weird part comes at the very end, when the aforementioned waiter drugs Refaeli and takes her to a room full of women who are bound and gagged, and starts sharpening a butcher knife. Yes, really.
While it’s not necessarily sexist like many ads we’ve seen in the past, this one is more than just creepy. It’s horrifying. Furthermore, maybe we’re just being dense, but we fail to see the connection to the application. Is it saying that paying our restaurant bill quickly will help us to avoid being raped and murdered by homicidal waiters….? We don’t really understand what in this ad is supposed to compel us to buy the product, but we could certainly understand why actual victims of rape, or date rape, or any comparably awful experience might be, you know, kind of offended by it becoming the butt of a tasteless joke.
If the use of fear tactics is really the best they can do to try to sell their product, all we have to say is this: MyCheck has a bigger problem than their own lack of sensitivity. Take a look at the original commercial below — It’s in Hebrew, but the meaning is pretty clear. We’ve also included the (edited) English version. Are you offended by the advertisement? What do you think it’s trying to say? Did you interpret it the same way we did? We want to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.