WATCH: Life Alert's ‘scary' new ad is upsetting viewers
Company abandoned traditional ‘corny' style
Clint Davis, Scripps National Desk
11:03 AM, Aug 28, 2014
8:24 AM, Sep 2, 2014
After decades of campy television advertisements, Life Alert’s latest commercial is no joke.
The company that trademarked the phrase, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!,” has some people upset after the debut of a dark new advertisement this summer that features a senior woman lying on her back in an empty home, screaming for help.
“Help! Someone please help me!,” the woman cries as she lay supine at the bottom of a staircase with a spilled laundry basket nearby. The commercial, titled “Basement,” is a stark change from the company’s typically lighthearted marketing brand.
Founded in 1987, California-based Life Alert provides customers with a device containing an automated dialer that will call emergency services at the touch of a button. The customer wears the device on a necklace or wristband, in case they suffer a medical episode and their telephone is out of reach.
The new commercial prompted a mostly negative reaction from Twitter users in recent weeks. At least one user compared it to the opening of a horror movie and actress Rose McGowan wrote, “Hello @Life_Alert your commercials stress me the [expletive] out.”
A petition has been posted to Change.org, requesting Life Alert remove the “Basement” commercial. As of Thursday it had attracted 147 supporters. Petitioner Jack Smith of Cumming, Georgia, wrote, “Your commercial is frightening and traumatic for those who deal with anxiety disorders and suffer from panic attacks.”
Life Alert previously responded to criticism in a statement, writing, “(Families of victims) have even complained that our commercials are corny, and NOT SERIOUS ENOUGH, and that our message doesn’t get through … “We understand that some people may have different tastes and either like or dislike our commercial, but the thousands of lives we are saving daily is very important to us and the families that trust us.”
All attempts to reach Life Alert for comment on this story were unsuccessful.
See the “Basement” advertisement below. What do you think?