TBWA\Chiat\Day Made Some Unbelievably Sad Ads, but You'll Be Grinning by the End

Prepare to be very depressed, but just for a moment

Chicagoans are going to encounter some really depressing advertising next week. But don't worry—soon their frowns will be turned upside down, as they say. 

I'm reluctant to spoil the surprise of the spots, made by TBWA\Chiat\Day New York, so just check them out below, like you've encountered them in the wild. They're parody ads for a yogurt, a furniture store and a seafood restaurant—and man, they get dark incredibly quickly. 

Watch them here: 

Sad Boy
Sad Old Man
Sad Lady

Making people sad to set them up for wanting happiness is itself a hilarious premise, utterly logical yet very unexpected. Of course, the execution has to be just right—and here it's handled expertly by O Positive director Kenny Herzog and the rest of the creatives. Butter did the music, which obviously carries so much of the comedy. 

The work also nicely sets expectation for the Chicago Comedy Film Festival itself. If the ads are this funny, maybe the films will be too. (Let's hope.) 

The three films will run in theaters and as pre-roll and targeted digital video next week, leading up to the festival, which opens April 5. 


Chicago Comedy Film Festival
Sad Boy, Sad Old Man, Sad Lady

TBWA\Chiat\Day New York
Chris Beresford-Hill - CCO
Ian Reichenthal- ECD/Writer
Alex Taylor - CD/Copywriter
Jason Stefanik - CD/Art Director
Matt Vescovo - CD/Art Director
John Doris - Head of Production
Amanda Revere - Executive Producer
Dan Bradbury - Producer
Sarah Healy - Associate Producer

O Positive - Production Company
Kenny Herzog - Director
Ralph Laucella and Marc Grill - Ex. Producers
Ken Licata - Line Producer
Ben Richardson - DP
Heidi Adams - Production Designer

MackCut - Edit and Audio Mix
Brendan Hogan - Editor
Sam Shaffer - Audio Mix
Gina Pagano - Executive Producer
Mike Leuis - Producer

MPC - Color
Daniel Silverman - Colorist

Redslash - Motion Graphics

Schmigital - Finishing
Joseph Miller - Flame Artist

Butter - Original music and music licensing

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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