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Horizon Therapeutics – Down and Out Kidney (2020)

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Oh, you thought this was the Funny Ads Archive? Nope. Welcome to a one-off edition of the Dark as F**k Ads Archive.

This awareness video is part of a campaign from Horizon Therapeutics that aims to get people talking about the link between chronic kidney disease and damaging effects on the rest of the body caused by the accumulation of uric acid and gout.

It’s a classic comedy setup.


Presented through quirky 2D animation, this two-minute mini movie takes us on a hell of a journey. Its comedic approach is less about jokes that’ll actually make you laugh, and more about the flat-out weirdness of the core idea (and the strength of storytelling used to execute it).

The torture video scene is a particularly unexpected and disturbing highlight; the overall effect is an ‘advert’ that will replay in your mind every time you close your eyes until your inevitable, gout-ridden death.

As for whether it gets the right message across? We’re off to buy some of this ‘uric acid’ stuff, immediately. That is what we were supposed to take from this, right?

But seriously, we think we know what this gorgeously rendered animated horror comedy was telling us — even if we haven’t got sufficient medical training to understand it.