This Funny Ad With a Drone Seagull Gives Sunscreen a Bad Rep

Nivea/Jung von Matt/Elbe

Trouble applying sunscreen on squirmy vacationing kids? Consumer brand Nivea presents a solution in a commercial that one advertising legend called "the most stupid thing I think I've seen in my whole life," according to Adweek.

In the ad, a team engineers a robotic seagull that flies over children on a sunny beach who have run away from their parents without sufficient sunscreen coverage. When it gets a target in its sights, the bird squirts sunscreen on the kid. The children taunt the robo-bird and close their eyes at strategic moments in a scene obviously staged for the ad.

German agency Jung von Matt/Elbe entered the ad into the 2016 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, an international event celebrating the best in creative communications and advertising. Sir John Hegarty, co-founder of agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, was jury president of the Titanium and Integrated Lions, the awards for which were awarded in late June.

"I actually thought the Monty Python team had gotten together and entered it into [Cannes], to see if we would vote for it," Adweek quoted Hegarty as saying.

As out of the box as the concept may seem, is the ad really the best way to get through to people about the importance of sunscreen?

The Very Real Danger of Childhood Sun Exposure

Just a few serious sunburns in childhood can increase a person's chances of getting skin cancer later in life, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To prevent sunburn, the U.S. government agency recommends that parents seek shade for their kids, cover them up, make them wear a hat and sunglasses and apply sunscreen.

"Unprotected skin can be damaged by the sun’s UV rays in as little as 15 minutes," the CDC says on its web page "How Can I Protect My Children from the Sun?" "Yet it can take up to 12 hours for skin to show the full effect of sun exposure. So, if your child’s skin looks 'a little pink' today, it may be burned tomorrow morning. To prevent further burning, get your child out of the sun."

What Do YOU Think?

Do you think the commercial is "stupid"? Or do you think it's a humorous way to get attention for a very serious issue? How to you protect your child's skin from sun damage?