These videos from WSIB in Ontario are serious and scary, and got quite a lot of press when they were released because many thought they were too much. In a 30-second spot, these videos manage to make a protagonist relatable and then injures them in a way that feels highly personal and painful. I have been trying to figure out what it is that makes the violence in these ads so gut-wrenching. I think part of it is showing the aftermath of the incident: the screaming, the burns, the twisted broken limbs, the terror. There are no spinning stars or ‘clean unconciousness’ like we would see in a lot of other media.
One criticism of these ads is ‘catastrophe fatigue’; after seeing these ads dozens of times, would you become desensitized and stop caring, or worse, form an aversion to safety videos and WSIB because it reminds you of these horrible events?