*notcot in design , 14:24

Obay - WhyBecauseISaidSo- 02.24.08

torontoad1.jpgI stopped suddenly while walking and HAD to photograph this ad… i kind of hoped it was a random subversive urban hack… but then i saw it in the buses, and throughout the city. This one still has the best (ok, by best i meant worst) stock photo image… and caption… “My son has ideas of his own. Obay put a stop to that… from the makers of WhyBecauseISaidSo.” And the packaging design of the bottle could certainly have been done up a bit more to make it more convincing! But thanks to a submission over to NOTCOT.org on that same night about how Torontoist discovered what it was really about, the mystery was solved! See more images, the culprit behind the viral, etc after the jump!


Torontoist reports: “It’s finally official: Rob Savage, Colleges Ontario’s Director of Communications, called Torontoist moments ago to confirm that Colleges Ontario is indeed behind the ads, and the organization just sent out a press release with information about a media launch event next Monday at (fittingly) Centennial College that promises to reveal “the news behind Obay and its side effects on Ontario’s Post-secondary Education.” Torontoist will be there.”

And you can view more images of other ads on the growing Obay Ads Flickr Pool as well!


21 Notes

it’s sad how most of the critics of this ad seem to be the ones who just don’t get it! it’s a wonderful ad that is so unfortunately misunderstood that it’s leaving a bad taste in the mouths of exactly the people who it is trying to target.
oh well. hopefully they’ll get set straight.

----- rachel 27.03.08 06:11

I thought these adds were for a new drug…wasd i wrong…then i found out they are for school…well any body that thinks he or she shouldnt have there own thoughts is screwed up…i think they did this all wrong…and im agianst it all the way…i finished college 30 years ago…and i still dont get how the punch line relates

----- Gary D. 03.03.08 15:40

Hey Guys,
It seems to me that you guys lack a sense of humour. I personally had a great laugh at that ad. I thought it was very witty but then again i guess wit is very rare these days. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I think this ad was awesome. :)

----- Noor Rodrigues 03.03.08 11:24

i think these ads are AWESOME!

first of all, I’m totally against universities, they provide you too much information to the fact where it is utterly useless in life. According to the statistics in Canada, the unemployment rate is on the rise because employers can’t hire employees with enough experience and skills. Although government is doing their best to provide these programs for older adults to acquire skills, but what about younger people?

Recently on a chinese newspaper (Sing Tao), there was an article that states the government creating internship and programs for young students (15-24; 29 for disabled folks) (http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/MNR/youthprograms/sep.html), however, these programs are hardly useful in the business world unless you’re going for environmental careers or something related in that matter.

They expect university students to compensate the lack of co-op and experience supplied by universities through volunteering, but how can they volunteer if they’re so busy in school work and life-related activities (where it matters) where they can’t sacrifice the time not studying or cramming or working to pay off debts (say if you were to live alone)?? It’s utterly ridiculous.

Universities expectations of students who enter into their realm are constantly supported by parents, what if they don’t have parental support? Or parents at all? Government tries to supply this with a hefty loan which you would need to pay back a lot. In the end, you end up without the necessary experience that universities does not offer and the terrible ordeal experience through university (from stress), so afterwards, when you cannot find employment within 6 months, you are not considered part from the Statistics of Canada in the unemployed section because you are discouraged from not finding employment.

There are times when university students with previous job experience (during high school (what? flipping burgers?) and the mandatory volunteering requirements that could help out, but it’s never enough, because they want valid experience that can be relevant and related to the certain job area.

With programs such as degree programs in Humber colleges and George Brown and etc… and joint programs in college-university is your best bet! Gain that career-oriented experience where colleges will definitely encourage and supply the necessary means of employment and the same theory that you would need to understand and know too—

i just think universities are something that you do after if you want to improve or expand— and something that you just want to learn because it’s interesting to expand your knowledge (if you have the finances to do so).

Anyway, colleges are also options as well, and they can greatly help start you off too. Colleges are the new universities. Think about it for parents and younger adults out there, think about what universities are really doing. They’re snatching away the precious money and giving you BS-load of crap that’s not important. What is important is what is on demand, and apparently, the trade industry is on the rise of demand due to the retirement stage of the baby boomers.

Anyway, that’s all for now.

I really admire the offense and defense that ontario colleges are putting up, and no, they’re not wasting the production of these ads from your tuition funds, it promotes more students to come and creates more funding thus more programs and expansion of other campuses and new opportunities and better teachers and employment. Think about the functional side of this, don’t be so selfish and only thinking about “oh is that where my money goes to?” and not think about the positive outcome of this. This really open the eyes of many viewers who are now interested in what is “better” or “worse”.

Everything in this world that has to offer have functionality.

Universities too, but this message was to compare the two how much universities just suck in my opinion.

I mean it’s great if you wanna advance further and change your name from Mr/Mrs/Ms to dr. lol… and have that MBA initials in your name every time you write a letter to someone, but anyway, yeah. that’s it.

----- wendy 02.03.08 22:45

Wow. I’m amazed at how many people missed the point of these ads. Amusingly enough, the very people these ads will help are the ones who aren’t getting them!!
It’s a more literal interpretation of those parents who ignore their childs emotional and physical welfare because the child MUST get into universtity — OR ELSE.
Most parents aren’t appalled at the idea of brow-beating their child into a career the child doesn’t want — but they WOULD be appalled at the idea of a drug that makes their child easier to control!
It’s metaphore. Seriously… look it up.

----- Yeesh 27.02.08 11:25

Fabulous Ads - love ‘em. Eye catching, amusing, generates conversation - all the best parts of effective advertising….

----- Nickki 27.02.08 10:46

Are you folks fucking retarded? It’s an ad campaign attacking advertising. Wake the fuck up.

----- Some Fag 27.02.08 08:41

Why use “obey.” Is Shepard Fairey so omnipresent that he has infected all poster art? Seems that just about any other word would have served them better. Or at least been more original/funny.

----- Rob 26.02.08 15:13

this was an amazing idea. it really did get everyone talking. I too was pressured into going to Universtiy, I completed my degree and got no job, although i can now say that i have a BA that’s pretty much it. I am actually now taking a post graduate program at Seneca College which I feel is amazing and am guaranteed a job and satisfaction after I graduate. So to the colleges that came up with these advertisments I commend you and your creativity.

----- mandy sandhu 26.02.08 10:57

I get the ad, I get why some people may not like the ads but they sure as hell got their point across didn’t they?? I think it’s brilliant!! I would sure be interested in sending my kids to a school that was so creative and totally capable of thinking outside the box like that! I was really impressed and whether you like the ads or not (although I don’t know how you couldn’t) they did their job and got people talking about an important issue as far as they are concerned…..so……good for them!!

P.S I attended college and my husband attended University and we are parents of two young children, and I can honestly tell you that I could care less where our kids go..College…University….who cares…as long as they don’t end up a drug dealer or on welfare or something like that I could care less which they would rather do…Education is eduction not matter what kind of package it comes in.

Way to go Ontario Colleges, you did the impossible….you got kids and parents talking…..and about education at that!!! Way to go!!!

----- Kristy 26.02.08 06:35

The creator was interviewed on cbc radio today.They wanted us to realize that parents today still try to push kids to go to university and discourage them from college.What they still don’t get is that when the parents were young the colleges had much lower entry level requirements and expectations,and there is still inconsistency depending on the course ..Instead of slagging off the parents maybe they should promote the change in quality and variety of programming..

----- janet 25.02.08 21:38

I really hope the “outrage” here is sarcasm, because if you can’t see the intelligence & thoughtfulness behind these pieces and the results they’re hoping to achieve - college isn’t your thing.

I suppose the if the only idea is to start a conversation however, they’ve achieved that much.

----- The Slapster 25.02.08 20:13

I’m really amused (disgusted?) at the amount of stupidity in the comments here. Do we need to be schooled on what a viral is? At least it’s got you buggers paying attention.

----- en 25.02.08 18:19


----- yitjhg 25.02.08 17:47

every time i see one of these adds i wanna tare it up because it is working against my very freedom
they better have a goddamn good reason for putting these things up

----- vernon 25.02.08 14:49

What the hell does this drug do? And is it even a real drug? I see the posters all the damn place and I’m like wtf is that shit! I have no idea what they’re for. Can someone please email me and explain? I would really appreciate it. Brookscomeau@hotmail.com. Thank you

----- crysie J. 25.02.08 14:47


----- jill 25.02.08 13:56

no no this isnt offensive (sarcasm) WHAT THE HELL!!! what is this junk..I see it everywhere and Im starting to freak out. I would like to know in case it affects me as a teen. WHY WONT THEY TELL US!!! UGGH!!!

----- Lizz(the original) 25.02.08 12:28

I think these are GREAT ads! I was worried that they’d be for some new product or something equally lame, but the fact that they’re for Ontario Colleges is great. I mean, there has been TOO much pressure in the school system to go to university. I certainly felt it, as did many of my friends and relatives. And now that I’ve graduated from a university program that gets me NOWHERE, much like my older sister, I find that I’ll be heading to college in September to pursue what it is that I actually want to do in life.

It was a great way to get the publics attention. It has a great message behind it. And it’s for a great cause. What is wrong with that?

----- AlainaOfArc 25.02.08 10:38

yeah when i first saw it i just woke up and was like wtf, and i keep seeing them everywhere, i really can’t fathom why they are campaigning this. what exactly is the message saying. i still say wtf when ever i see them

----- Mike Darling 25.02.08 10:05

the fact that the colleges is behind them is even worse!
i’m a student at a college in toronto and if they dont come up with a really good reason as to why my money went for these terrible ads then they’ll be getting a very angry letter from me!

----- athousandleaves 25.02.08 00:38

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