An Australian group has released a new ad to promote organ donation. And as they point out in the ad, organ donation can save lives. However, the number of people who register for organ donation remains relatively low.
Though it’s a worthy cause, the irreverent tone of the ad has ruffled a few religious feathers. The two minute ad, which was made to promote the Dying to Live documentary. It features Jesus dying on the cross as two guards approach to try and convince him to donate his organs.
One of the guards says, “We get it. No one wants to talk about death. But your organs could save the lives of up to six people.” Jesus responds with, “Obviously I would do it. I am Jesus.” The guards tell him that he should go online to sign the organ donor registry. One guard then attaches a smartphone onto his spear so that Jesus can key in his registration.
What would Jesus do?
The commercial was made by filmmaker Richard Todd and creative agency REVOLVER. It was based on a study that found 70% of Australians were willing to donate their organs and tissue, but only 36% actually registered.
“It is important for every Australian to know they can register online via dyingtolive.com.au, and to have a conversation with their family. Even if you have already registered, your family can still veto your decision in the hospital during what is of course a very distressing time, and it is important therefore to ‘own’ this decision together,” Richard Todd said in a statement.
After being put on YouTube, however, the ad immediately triggered controversy online, with many Christians calling it “despicable” and “offensive.” While it did start a conversation, the reaction has been predominantly negative. And after racking up over 21,000 signatures on a petition, the ad will not air on Australian TV.
What are your thoughts on this ad? Do you think it’s offensive?
Daniel is an Art Director and Graphic Designer with over a decade of experience in advertising and marketing in the Greater Toronto Area.