Ad of the Day: Terminix

Save yourself now from the universe's most terrifying monsters

This new Terminix campaign from Publicis Dallas is a masterpiece of fearmongering. Using a clever and devious little setup, the ads visually supersize the danger of termites, cockroaches, ants, etc., by equating those pests with giant, horrific hell-beasts who will eat your house and probably your children as well. "If there were something that threatened your family with diseases like staph, strep and E. coli, you'd expect it to look like this," says the voiceover in one ad, showing a huge, gnarly octopus-like brute slithering around a kitchen. "Not this," the voice adds, as the octopus disappears into a cookie jar and little cockroaches come scurrying out. Three other ads show similar stand-ins for the real enemy. Obviously, Terminix has to overcompensate visually because the insects it eradicates are small and largely unseen, and their danger probably underestimated. But come on—these ads spend most of their time trying to frighten you with creatures that don't even exist. At least they did a good job of making the monsters truly, entertainingly repellent. Dreamed up by Blacklist's Barcelona-based design collective Dvein (who also directed), they're wonderfully organic-seeming and a disgusting joy to watch. But the spots as a whole are just so heavy handed. The eerie horror-movie sounds, the sinister voiceovers, the threats of horrible things that will happen to your children—it's just so unpleasantly transparent. The Orkin campaign from The Richards Group has giant monsters, too, but that work is infused with a dark humor that makes it feel much less manipulative. By being both exaggerated and deadly serious, Terminix is stuck in the middle, and loses some credibility. Perhaps they should team up with home-security company ADT—the closest relative in the dire-warnings department. Together they could streamline their messaging to a simple thought: You never know who, or what, will break in, rob you and eat you alive.

Client: Terminix
Agency: Publicis, Dallas
Executive Creative Director: Shon Rathbone
Group Creative Director: Julia Melle
Creative Director, Copywriter: Steve Grimes
Creative Director, Art Director: Pete Voehringer
Producer: Jaime Roderer
Account Director: Rick Rogers
Production Company: Blacklist
Executive Producers: Adina Sales, Andrew Linsk
Producer: Michael Neithardt
Associate Producer: Patrick Gantert
Direction and Art Direction: Dvein
Design and Character Development: Dvein
Producer: Esther de Udaeta
Post Production: Dvein
Post Production/VFX team: Vando
Audio Record & Mix: HECQ, Ben Lukas Boysen and Infinia, Marc Gonell
Sound Design: HECQ, Ben Lukas Boysen