Stay in school PSA’s have probably been around since schools started or at least until the first kid skipped. Do you think corporal punishment counts as a PSA? And is this ad really to convince people to stay in school, or would it work? Here’s here’s how it breaks down:

This commercial, if you haven’t seen it(watch it) try’s to make a case for staying in school. Some Kids head to the beach in their classic VW for some surfing and fun. There having a blast until they start exploding. Basically they stumbled on a beautiful secluded beach that’s actually some sort of military testing zone. The message seems to be stay in school or you will miss a sign that says explosive testing.

The alarming part, and the troubling part in this scenario is why would such a beautiful piece of landscape be some sort of crazy explosive testing range that make people spontaneously combust. You could into read into it deeper and pretend the message was if you don’t stay in school and become an environmental lawyer natural landscape will get over taken by crazy government experiments. Some how I doubt this last scenario. They’re also saying hey if you drop out of school you’ll head to the beach and surf all day, sound pretty sweet to me.

The marketing lesson here is keep in simple, that’s why I follow the K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid) principle for marketing and UX web technologies, at least for direct marketing.

When you do learn what the ad is really for it makes sense and was very effective. It received over 4 million views on youtube in 24 hours and is close to 11 million at the time of writing this article. The ad was created by Henry Inglis to generate publicity for his production company, saying “It’s got a lot of attention because advertising can’t be this provocative or extreme.”

What’s the real message? Get people talking.