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Is This The Worst Funeral Ad Ever or Is It Brilliant?

February 3, 2015

Ryan Thogmartin is the CEO of DISRUPT Media | Follower of Christ | Husband | Father | Entrepreneur | Host of #DISRUPTu! and #FUNERALnationtv | Lover of Skittles DISRUPT Media is a social media content agency that focuses on storytelling for funeral companies. We use real stories to build creative strategies that achieve actual business goals.

Is This The Worst Funeral Ad Ever or Is It Brilliant?

The above ad ran in the¬†January 28 issue of “luxury lifestyle magazine”¬†Town & Style St. Louis.

A picture of the ad (above) has been taking the internet (Reddit) and Facebook by storm since. The overall reaction has been a big, loud WTF (if you don;t know what that means here is the Wiki definition)!

The purpose of every ad is to ‘get people talking’ and this ad certainly did. But the talking wasn’t good – you can read the worst of the comments on this Reddit page (beware, most are NSFW).

St. Louis Cremation’s owner, Oliver King, told in an interview:

“Ads are usually so boring that people usually don’t stop and see. I was just trying to get people to stop for a second and see the picture, and then my company’s name. That was it,” he says. “The two are not supposed to be related, except that’s my daughter and my company.”

Indeed, King maintains that he included the photo of his daughter and accompanying text as a self-contained quip about the transience of youth, not a psychological sucker punch to parents who may not have considered the benefits of cremating their soon-to-be-dead kids.

Though King says he hasn’t read the various Internet comments picking apart the ad, concerned callers to his business have expressed similar concerns.

“I got people calling and complaining, like, ‘Are you going to kill her? Is she going to kill someone?'” he says. “I couldn’t believe that went somewhere in their minds that they thought that was what I was trying to say.”

On Facebook St. Louis Cremation posted the following response to the calls they received.


It’s a fire storm St. Louis Cremation surely couldn’t see coming, but we have to ask:

Is this the worst funeral ad ever or is it brilliant because it got millions of people talking?