Boost Mobile “Coroner”

It might be best if ad agency 180LA didn’t win a Mexican-food account anytime soon. It’ll take a while, after all, before we forget the image in this Boost Mobile spot of a coroner dropping a breakfast burrito onto, if not into, the stiff he’s examining — then casually picking it up (the burrito, not the stiff) and resuming his meal. Not something we see every day, and perhaps just as well. But it’s a memorable setup for the spot’s effort to distinguish between what might look wrong (i.e., aforementioned coroner eating aforementioned burrito) and what’s really and truly wrong, such as cell-phone companies hitting customers with all sorts of sneaky charges. In other words, while the vignette is certainly weird — too much so, I’m sure, for viewers with delicate sensibilities (there must still be a few of them out there) — it’s not pointlessly or even gratuitously weird. Rather, it underscores the sales pitch that Boost Mobile, unlike its competitors, will not do you wrong if you buy its prepaid wireless service. In effect, the weirdness is delivering a traditional kind of message: We’re good, they’re bad. And since the brand hasn’t tried to ingratiate itself with viewers by sweet-talking them, the message seems all the more believable. –Mark Dolliver