Monday, December 17, 2007

LAAF - Liberation Army Against Freedom (and safe fireworks)


**UPDATE** if you want more of the backstory on these vids, check The Guardian's Christmas Eve story.
They were created by Amsterdam ad firm Selmore.

This is part of the Dutch government's safety campaign for fireworks this year. I must be in some kind of politically correct mode after all the Zwarte Piet stuff because my first reaction was that it's offensive.

On second thought, I realized that it's hilarious. Who does it actually insult? Al-Qaida? Ah, let 'em talk.

The Arabic (apparently) contains safety reminders, including that all fireworks are explosives.

The final gag is the guy starts shooting off his gun in excitement and the other guy tells him, 'yo, man, relax!'

Amen say I to that fair prayer.

The Dutch have a long tradition with fireworks disasters, and a long tradition with surprising safety advertisements.

The one that shocked me most was the year that they did a countdown with people who had lost varying numbers of fingers in fireworks explosions, holding up their maimed hands.


Gruesome, but riveting.


Gruesome, 1994 Ad (not for the faint of heart):

The slogan "je bent een rund, als je met vuurwerk stunt," became a classic. How to translate?

"Only dicks try firework tricks."

This ad from 1999 has an unexpected punchline:

"Gentlemen, never carry fireworks in your pocket."

The ads all target young men, who are the ones most frequently hurt by fireworks.

What is it with "Young Men And Fire."? (The title of a stunning book by Norman Maclean, by the way).

My son is not even two years old, and he's fascinated by candles. Worse, he already got into a pack of matches and lit one. Monkey see, monkey do.


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