The news is like the ocean. On the surface, everything might seem pretty, but the further down you go, the worse things look.
That, at least, is the metaphor behind a new ad from Veja, a popular right-leaning (if not right-wing) Brazilian magazine that featured President Obama as Che Guevara on its cover in 2014.
The 40-second spot below, by AlmapBBDO, features tropical fish floating just under the surface of the sea, before the camera plummets to meet less aesthetically pleasing denizens. At 5,000 meters down, a particularly hideous sea creature—the common fangtooth—graces the screen.
Copy at the end explains the metaphor.
At first blush, it's a powerful, if hyperbolic argument—the spurred hatchetfish seen at 500 meters isn't going to be winning any beauty contests, either. And Veja's point—that its publication is a serious investigative outfit, devoted to uncovering important and sordid truths—comes across clearly enough.
In context, though, it may hold less water. The magazine has earned a reputation for distorting facts to serve a conservative agenda, notably in its coverage of the current corruption scandal—recent missteps include accusing a Brazilian senator of having the equivalent of more than $2 million in a Swiss bank account, which turned out not to exist in the first place.
In a sense, then, the campaign is fitting, if perhaps ultimately counterproductive for viewers who follow through and research Veja itself. Then again, the merits of what you find under a seemingly placid surface is a matter of perspective; Veja could justifiably be described as sensationalist, fear-mongering, hard-nosed, morally upright, oversimplified, accurate, or some combination thereof.
Advertiser: Editora Abril
Product: Revista VEJA
General Creative Director: Luiz Sanches
Executive Creative Director: Bruno Prosperi
Creative Directors: Pernil, André Gola
Copywriter: Rodrigo Resende
Art Director: Renato Butori
Production: Clan VFX
Audio Producer: Cabaret
RTVC: Vera Jacinto, Diego Villas Boas, Fernando Yamanaka
Client Services: FernandaAntonelli, Ana Clara Grana, Beatriz Almonacid, Beatriz Sztamfater
Planning: Cintia Gonçalves,Sergio Katz, Denis Camargo, Ana Beatriz Nunes
Media: Cassiano Oliva,Thabata Hidalgo, Dener Lages
Approval: Walter Longo, TiagoAfonso, Andrea Abelleira, Keila Arciprete