Spotify Ad Featuring “Havana” Banned in UK, Scares Me Too
I'll be honest -- I'm a chicken.
When I was a kid, I was introduced to the 1966 film The Ghost and Mr. Chicken with Don Knotts. It is, of course, supposed to be a funny, slap-stick style comedy film with scary elements. But I was absolutely terrified of the bleeding portrait of Mrs. Simmons, the hidden passageway behind the bookshelf, and especially the blood-stained organ that played by itself.
For all of its comedy, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken turned me into a life-long chicken.
So it should be no surprise that a recent Spotify ad labeled "distressing and too scary" and banned from UK television creeped me out pretty good, too.
In the ad, a young woman is haunted by a terrifying doll every time Camilla Cabella's hit song "Havana" plays. Irresistibly catchy, the woman can't convince her friends to stop playing the song, which only leads to more scary appearances by the doll. At one point in the ad, the doll is thrown away in the dumpster but later reappears in a bathroom as it hears "Havana" again playing. The ad ends with the words "Killer Songs You Can't Resist" displayed and a close-up of the doll in the background.
Because of its content, the UK's Advertising Standards Authority banned it from playing on television. Spotify, for its part, clarified that the ad was only "tongue-in-cheek" and "intended to be "humorous." However, they did admit they take their responsibilities as marketers "very seriously" and would be "mindful" of the ASA's guidance in the future.
You can watch the ad for yourself below. What do you think -- creepy or am I really just a chicken?