Culture

This may be the creepiest ad ever from a phone carrier

Commentary: You think it's a love story between two teens who meet online. Then there's a twist. And then another.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


It seems like a love story. It isn't.

Movistar/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Ads for phone carriers can often promise that Carrier A is so much better than Carrier B, because Carrier B is merely a mendacious menace to society.

Then there's this powerful and, frankly, disturbing ad from Mexico on behalf of Movistar.

You think it's a charming story about a teenage boy getting a friend request from a teenage girl.

You think it's all about the excitement and tension, as they get to know each other better and finally start wondering whether they should meet in person.

The music -- "You're Somebody Else" by Flora Cash -- might give something of the story away, less because of its lyrics and more because of its slightly haunting quality.

However, there's not one, but two twists at the end that creepily underline the true menace that young people face when meeting online.

The ad was released last month and has already been viewed on YouTube more than 1.5 million times.

As a cautionary tale, it's powerful. As an ad sponsored by a well-known phone carrier -- Movistar is owned by Spain's Telefonica -- it represents a considerable change from the norm.

Some will say it's unrealistic. These kids would FaceTime or Skype first, because that's what kids do.

Perhaps, though, it's not what all kids do. And if this makes at least one teen think again, it's worth it.

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