Creative Spotlight: Hell Pizza

There are as many different types of ads in the world as there are people, each with the driving motivation to either A) sell a product or service or B) create awareness about a specific brand. Sometimes they use sex, other times its reliability, and then... then there's the "shock factor." Now personally, I find the shock factor to be interesting in that there are seemingly no rules when it comes to what disgusts, excites or enrages the viewer. It could be blunt nudity, foul language, or in the case of New Zealand native Hell Pizza, raising the dead.

Now, there have been plenty of post-modern ad campaigns that relied on the "living impaired" to sell their products (such as Dirt Devil's Fred Astaire and Coors Light's John Wayne) and for the most part these advertisements have met with a bitter mix of entertainment and criticism. Not one to be deterred, Hell Pizza continued forward in this macabre tradition with its 2008 Halloween promo.

Credited to ColensoBBDO, their agency on record, and brought to life (or un-life) by The Dept. of Motion Graphics Hell Pizza's 2008 Happy Helloween promotional video, featuring zombified portrayals of beloved New Zealand icons Edmund Hillary, Heath Ledger and the Queen Mother dancing to a Thriller-inspired (Michael Jackson) graveyard bash, created such a wicked backlash from major media and public opinion alike that it was pulled from YouTube after only 24 hours and has become virtually non-existent online. Though the video itself has become notoriously difficult to find, there are dozens of extensive articles telling you how bad and offensive it is. Of course, this meant I had to see it.

After hours upon hours of idle surf-n-searching your Strange friend was able to find a copy and bring it to you. Upon review (one year its initial release) I can understand why the families of these actors found the content so morally offensive (it was created only months after Ledger's and Hillary's deaths). Personally I find it more a product of pop culture gone awry, though it definitely draws a fine line between post modernism and poor taste.


  1. Glen said...:

    Haha, nice. Cool to hear about this controversy and then get to see the video.

  1. Strange Kid said...:

    Its so weird. I've never known any online video or content be so buried/lost. After all the media attention it received, I just knew that I had to find it.

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