Die Young, but Look Pretty Doing It, Says This Existential Clothing Ad With a Twist

Centrepoint takes a left turn

There's not much anyone can do to avoid life's little indignities. But if you've got some money in the bank, you can at least be well dressed while facing them.

That, at least, is the upshot of a new ad from Middle Eastern clothing retailer Centrepoint and agency Impact BBDO Dubai. 

Shot in black and white, it features a young man driving a flashy vintage sportscar while a stunning woman stares out the window from the backseat (perhaps reflecting the marketer's audience). The party drips with ennui. Despite the trappings of success, this gent can't escape banal little tragedies—a stone in his shoe during a meeting, a piece of gum left on his seat by some thoughtless predecessor, a baby on the airplane he's riding in.

The uncaring universe, it turns out, does not love him like his mother does (assuming the universe recognizes he's there at all). His scruples eventually reach a high point when the car breaks down on a set of railroad tracks. 

Find out what happens next:

There's no shortage of contradictions here; the ad strives for the existential in a blatantly materialistic kind of way. But the finale is surprisingly funny, and does a lot to make the protagonist's bourgeois self-pity more forgivable. It's easy to imagine a person having far bigger problems than the hero's trivial whining, and nobody likes a guy who can't muster sympathy for a bawling infant—even if it's inconvenient. 

In the end, though, "Sabotage" doesn't take itself as seriously as it first appears to, and its creators aren't really concerned with how good or bad anyone's life is. They're just trying to sell shirts.

As shamelessly cynical as that might be, it deserves points for being honest—and for offering enough truth to be persuasive. If you're going to be taken out by a speeding metal behemoth, you might as well wear the suit your friends and family can bury you in. 

Just kidding—that one probably has gum stuck to the pants. Buy two, just in case.


Advertiser: Centrepoint

Marketing Manager: Rupal Panjani

Head of Marketing: Shyam Sunder

Creative Agency: Impact BBDO Dubai

TV Producer: Rajaa Chami

Copywriter: Alok Mohan

Executive Creative Director: (Regional): Fadi Yaish

Account Director: Bharti Joukani

Account Executive: Lizelle Rodrigues

Senior Art Director: Marcelo Maciel

Associate Creative Director: Alok Mohan

Vice President: Colin Farmer

Sound Design: Goldstein

Music Supervision: Goldstein

Voice-over: Eardrum, Australia


Editor: AMR Rabae

Postproduction House: Lizard VFX Shop, Cairo

Online Artist: Serena, Dubai

Colorist: Karim Mira

CG: Digital District, Paris

Production Company: Good People, Beirut

Director: Maged Nassar

Assistant Director: Patrik Farra

DOP: Pierre Mouarkech

Executive Producers: Michel Bou Zeid, Cynthia Chammas