Why This Condom Ad Was Banned in Europe

Watch this Zazoo condom ad if you need a new form of birth control. Warning: It does involve aggressively screaming children.

In the annals of television history, there are few commercials that are as famous — or as polarizing — as the infamous “Screaming Kid” ad. First aired in 2004, the ad features a young boy in a grocery store who starts having a full-blown temper tantrum and screaming at the top of his lungs. The ad’s tagline: “Use Condoms.”

The commercial was an instant sensation, and to this day people still talk about how shocking and funny it was. But what made this commercial so effective? And why did it cause such a stir? Let’s take a closer look.

The Ad Itself

Imagine you’re watching a football game and it cuts to a commercial break. The tv ad that plays is a little kid and his dad at the grocery store shopping. The little boy keeps throwing candy into their cart and the dad puts it back. Little Timmy starts screaming, throwing a tantrum, and everyone in the store is giving the parent the side eye. 👀 Pretty typical situation that we’ve all seen play out IRL multiple times.

Could be anything from promoting candy to grocery stores, to a PSA about healthy eating or having patience as a parent. But it is none of the above. The ad is promoting condoms.

Yup, the ad is promoting wearing rubbers to prevent having kids! In particular, an ad to prevent having screaming kids.

screen grab from Zazoo commercial

The Ad’s Impact

When this ad first aired, it caused quite a bit of controversy. Some people found it to be humorous and clever, while others thought it was crass and offensive. It was even banned in Europe! However, there’s no denying that the ad was successful in getting people talking about Zazoo condoms.

It is pretty genius marketing if you think about it: Show the most stressful situation that you can be in – especially in a public setting with all the attention on you – and give the solution to prevent that situation from happening.

Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that the “Screaming Kid” ad was successful in getting people talking about Zazoo condoms. If you’re looking for an attention-grabbing way to advertise your product or service, you could do worse than taking a page from this company’s playbook.

Watch the ad and make sure you wrap it up to not get caught up in all the crying and screaming 😂

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