Check it out: A non-profit tells a super villain story

The Jasmin Roy Sophie Desmarais Foundation's campaign encourages civility through classic comic book tropes.

Fondation

At first, two new spots for the Montreal non-profit Jasmin Roy Sophie Desmarais Foundation look like they’ve been taken straight out of an action or super hero film.

An innocent pregnant woman is shown boarding a bus as a young villain stares from a distance, sinister music swelling in the background. He runs towards the vehicle and violently forces himself onto it, pushing riders to the side as he makes his way to the back, where he commits his dastardly deed – swiftly stealing the last available seat and leaving the pregnant woman to stand.

“No one likes a villain in real life,” the ad reads. That’s when another passenger offers his seat, the commercial serving as a reminder to “stand up for kindness.”

The other ad takes place within a dark, abandoned warehouse. The villain turns and slowly makes his way towards a man sitting frightened in a chair. In a similar twist as the first ad, it turns out the boy villain is actually in a workplace, taking photos of the man in question to mock him.

The campaign was created by Ogilvy for the foundation, which works to fight bullying, violence and discrimination against elementary and secondary school children, with the goal of encouraging healthy emotional and relational lifestyle habits among young people.

“Although the villain is often charismatic and endearing on screen, the opposite is more often the case in real life, as shown in this new campaign,” said Ogilvy art director Antoine Dasseville in a press release. “We don’t want ‘villains’ in real life. We’d rather they stay in the movies.”

The full-length spots are appearing online, with shorter versions airing on TV.