Hip Dude Forced to Care for Screaming, Pooping BabyBot at Music Festival in Sadistic Ad Stunt

To convince young people to travel before they have kids

Headshot of T.L. Stanley

This is not an ad for condoms, or a PSA for abstinence, but it could be. It’s actually a commercial for Student Flights, a company that hawks affordable travel packages to the young and untethered.

And you should take those trips now, the brand says, because you’ll be an old, boring parent soon, and then you’ll never make it to Coachella.

To prove the point that babies and music festivals do not mix, the brand created a demanding, crying, crapping, wifi-enabled robot and saddled a South African comedian with it during a weekend outdoor concert. If he could make it through his “fatherhood” experiment, sharing the ups and downs on social media, he’d win a trip to New York.

At first, Loyiso Madinga thinks the task will be simple. He’s seen in the video below settling in and pitching his tent, while Babybot shrieks and squalls, and sorting through various infant supplies that he tries to identify.

He knows what dad shoes are, though, and he’s visibly annoyed when he finds some tragically unfashionable footwear among his party gear. (The twisted minds at ad agency TBWA\Hunt Lascaris in Johannesburg, which orchestrated the stunt, must’ve had a fine time making that survival kit for him.)

Madinga tries to cut loose and have fun like a regular millennial on holiday, but Babybot will not cooperate. There’s an embarrassing accident involving projectile “pee,” and of course, the all-night crying. At one point, Madinga pleads with the producers to shut the screaming bot down “for, like, 20 minutes, or half an hour?”

The answer is no, dude. Parenting is relentless, and Babybot doesn’t care if Radiohead is playing in a few hours.

The last images of the mini-movie are Madinga trudging zombie-like through the night pushing Babybot in a stroller. The tagline: “Travel before it’s not fun anymore.”

Message received!

Postscript: The exhausted comic survived, and boy does he need that vacation.

Client: Flight Centre
Product: Student Flights
Agency: TBWA\Hunt Lascaris
Chief Creative Officer: Peter Khoury
Executive Creative Director: Jenny Glover, Kabelo Moshapalo
Creative Director: Shane Forbes ,George Low
Art Director: Shane Forbes, Greig Watt,
Copywriter: George Low, Greg Lavagna, Tafadzwa Kambuwa
Agency Producer: Lungile Maseko, Muriel Brink
Client Service: Bridget Langley
Production Company: Gentleman Films
Director: Greg Rom, Mark Middlewick
Prodcuer: Vanessa La Trobe
DOP: Ross Maxwell
Postproduction: Ludus
Editor: Mark Ash, Adrienne Lineveldt
Audio: Audio Militia
Sound Engineer: Audio Militia
Social Media: Hayley Lamberti, Sibusiso Mkhwanazi, Kelebogile Tshekedi, Neo Matsaneng
Developer: Daniel Schoeman

@TLStanleyLA terry.stanley@adweek.com T.L. Stanley is a senior editor at Adweek, where she specializes in consumer trends, cannabis marketing, meat alternatives, pop culture, challenger brands and creativity.