A UK company named Beyond, which helps people compare funeral prices, wanted to start a conversation about how expensive burials and cremations can be. So, they turned to coffin surfboards, and people were not happy about it.
The New York Times reports that Beyond’s unconventional choice of ads, which included images of a smiling couple running into a beach with coffins in their arms, a fake flu medicine ad that urges you to write your will, and a riff on a car sales ad that tells you to not get “R.I.P’d Off!”, angered many Londoners who understandably found the ads in poor taste. Transport for London even rejected the ads, the NYT reports, and ads for the London Underground had to be slightly revised.
Personally, I think the ads are cool, not just for being extremely goth but for attempting to bring light to the fact that death is expensive. The NYT article points out that in London cremations cost £3,311 on average and burials can be £4,257. According to the National Funeral Directors Association the average funeral with viewing and burial for calendar year 2016 was $7,360, up almost $200 from 2014. HuffPost reports that as of 2016 a cremation without a viewing could reportedly cost between $600 and $2,000.
“Our reluctance to talk about death is the reason funeral costs continue to spiral and why you pay far too much for writing a will or settling an estate,” Beyond’s co-founder told the paper.
So, death! Let’s talk about it! Whether in the form of a jokey fake flu ad or a quiet, private conversation with loved ones.