This Annoying Preroll Ad Lets You Kill It, Not Just Skip It

Weed killer's clever use of YouTube

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Some preroll ads are just so irritating that merely skipping them doesn't seem like meting out proper justice. Sometimes you just want to kill them. And this fun and pretty brilliant Canadian ad for Weed B Gon lets you do just that.

The spot stars an intensely annoying weed named Prickly, who uningratiates himself immediately in the ad by biting a person's leg and screaming. He then goes on to deliver a shouty, Gilbert Gottried-esque speech about how he quickly multiplies until you have lots of obnoxious Pricklies all over your lawn. At the very end, thankfully, Weed B Gon comes along and deep-sixes Prickly for good.

If you encounter the ad as a YouTube preroll, though, there's an amusing functionality that lets you attack Prickly more quickly. When the normal "Skip ad" button appears after five seconds, you also get a "Kill Prickly" button above it. Clicking that button essentially "kills" the annoying middle half of the ad—and fast-forwards straight to Weed B Gon's cathartic murder of Pickly.

See how it works below. (The skip button won't appear here, of course, since this video embed is not acting as a preroll.) 

Canadian agency Rethink came up with the fun campaign, which also includes the character of Prickly appearing as a nuisance in-store, online and in social media. (Irritating characters are a gamble, but this one seems fairly benign in small doses—and he's positively charming compared to the horrors that pharma ads have wreaked on us.) 

"Leveraging an innovative new YouTube feature in combination with fun, irreverent content, we have have been able deliver key brand messages to a new generation of lawn care enthusiasts." Glenn Martin, director of marketing at Scotts Canada.

Client: Scotts Canada
Agency: Rethink

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.