Always outnumbered. Generally overdresssed.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Death might be...very nice.

Is it just me that thinks this sounds less like a valuable contribution to an important ethical debate and more like something Charlie Brooker thought up, in one of his most blackly satirical moods, in 1999?

Anti-euthanasia campaigner, Dr Peter Saunders, is worried that the broadcast will cause people to feel “subtly pressured” into euthanasia. Here we have a true believer in advertising.

In fact, Dignitas has to be the ultimate brief:

What do we want to do? Persuade people of the advantages of ending their own lives by drinking a lethal cocktail of sedatives.

I think Craig Ewert sounds like a brave and admirable character. In advertising terms, a primary adopter. And I think the way he reframes, hem, reframed, the idea of death, via Shakespeare, is probably the best angle to work. “That undiscovered country, from whose bourn no traveller returns.” My first thought is:

"Imagine a holiday so good that no-one ever comes back."

It’s quite interesting how many existing headlines you could apply to death as a product. How often do we try to persuade people to overcome their apprehension and put their faith in something they know nothing about?

“Try something new today.”

“There’s no place like it.”

“Come discover the difference.”

“Just do it.”

Update: One of the side effects of my job is that I often end up thinking of irritating puns - it's like miners and silicosis - you spend all day breathing this shit so really you can't be surprised when it develops a life of its own. Anyway, I was thinking about this post and it occurred to me that most of the time we don't have to sell death, because everyone buys it in the end. That one really annoyed me.

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