The ad sparked some controversy, but we actually thought it was pretty funny…
Telecommunications company, du has decided to pull an advertisement from cinemas across the UAE that has sparked a bit of controversy.
Dubbed The Man Sitting Next To You, the 1:25-minute video is a tongue-in-cheek look at some of the less desirable etiquette practiced by a certain segment of the cinema-going public.
It seems, however, that the ad hit a little too close to home for some cinema-goers, leading du to remove it from theatres after receiving a number of complaints.
They released the following statement on social media, explaining the removal of the ad and noting that, while not everyone found the ad offensive, they respect the concerns of those that did. A pretty classy move.
Because we respect your feedback. 💙 pic.twitter.com/TlS5EjgXmH
— du (@dutweets) May 7, 2017
Developed by advertising agency Leo Burnett Dubai, the campaign was intended to promote the ‘du Tuesday offer’, the company’s weekly buy-one-get-one-free promotion.
So, is it really that bad?
Honestly? We don’t think so.
Clearly designed as satire, the ad takes a light-hearted look at the reasons why you shouldn’t be going to the cinema alone.
It pokes fun at the inconvenience of sitting next to strangers who spend a film’s runtime loudly crunching popcorn, invading your personal space and insisting on bringing a crying child into the screening.
The ad’s Hollywood-esque narrator cheekily notes that the events depicted are “Based on a true story” (we’ve all been there) before ending by saying “Isn’t it time you sat next to someone you know?”, emphasising du’s two-for-one ticket offer.
While we can imagine that some of the scenes, particularly the sneezing bit, might be a little icky on the big screen, it’s all pretty clever stuff that we found to be far more accurate than offensive.
You can check out the video for yourself below and let us know what you think.