What’s Wrong With This Picture? Pregnancy-Test Ad Is Met With Howls of Laughter

Old billboard gets a second wind

Headshot of Tim Nudd

It’s not that often that a billboard is so absurd that it invites widespread mockery and goes viral in the process. But this one has—a full six years after it was made.

The ad, from the Netherlands, was made by a Dutch agency called Etcetera for the Predictor pregnancy-test brand. With a quick glance, it’s clear something isn’t quite right. The man and woman seem extremely surprised by the reading on the pregnancy test. But wouldn’t they … have already guessed they’re pregnant?

Or maybe that’s the joke?!

Twitter has been having a field day with the ad, after it was posted by user Alex Romero. Below is a sampling of the reactions:

The ad was actually made in 2011. It was posted to Ads of the World back then, and was met with a similarly bemused reaction from commenters—but wasn’t noticed widely at the time.

We reached out to several of the creatives who worked on the billboard, and received a reply from Chris Sant, who was the art director on it. (He’s now a senior creative at J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam.)

“We didn’t know our ad would go viral after six years! Great!” he tells AdFreak.

And what about the dissonant image? Some have suggested perhaps the couple have just learned the gender of the baby. But nope. This is just your regular old pregnancy test—though an extremely good one, according to Sant.

“Since Predictor is 99.9 percent accurate, you’d rather depend on the test than your belly,” Sant says, adding that the agency did engage in a little “advertising exaggeration.”

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