The ‘World’s Biggest A**hole’ is a tough piece to have an opinion on.
Yes, that’s the name of the film! Go ahead… watch it. It stars actor Thomas Jane as the Coleman F. Sweeney, or the a-hole in question. It’s by Martin Agency, from 2016. Let me not mention the client or give any other context. Just watch it.
Once you have finished watching it… then read the rest of my post.
In terms of getting the attention of people, this ad works like a charm. Instant attention and you may stay on till the end too, given how abrasively annoying Sweeney is all through the ad.
Because they go into the minute details of his a-holery, when the payoff occurs in the end, you start to see Sweeney in a new light!
Why and how did he sign up to become an organ donor? That perhaps demands a sequel!
But my biggest question with this film, while it is extremely well-intentioned to solve a huge problem, is this: are they trying to whitewash the a-holery just because of that one act?
For starters, the people who got his organs are not the people who were annoyed by him when he was alive. Even if they were the ones to get his organs, I’m sure they’d have mixed feelings about such a donation – “Sweeney, for heaven’s sake?” and “So be it, what else can I do?” existing at the same time.
Does it also give a be-an-a-hole card to behave like one if he/she signs up to be an organ donor? Or worse – imagine if Kuldeep Singh Sengar or Harvey Weinstein were/are organ donors.
But this is all overthinking – I completely understand that. As an ad film to promote organ donation, the piece of creative does its part mighty well. It gets your attention immediately, makes you watch it fully, through its almost 3-minutes run time, waiting for the payoff and when the pay-off hits, you are stunned at the turn of events… and left with some questions about ‘how?’, ‘why?’ and ‘when?’. This is all good, in the scheme of the cause.
And yes, now that I have your attention, please do sign up to be an organ donor, in India. Did you know the kind of organs you can donate? Here’s a list: Kidney, Lungs, Heart, Eye, Liver, Pancreas, Cornea, Small Intestine, Skin tissues, Bone tissues, Heart valves and Veins, among others!
Please sign up at NOTTO: National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation.