Oh Canada, a land so nice that a guy getting smacked in the face by a flying newspaper is too violent for TV. This is what happened to “Positively Painful,” a new ad for Vancouver’s Science World Museum from agency Rethink Canada.
The spot features a high-spirited, hapless man who steps forth from his beautiful suburban house in the morning, only to encounter a series of cartoonish mishaps. There’s the offending newspaper, a nail on the front steps, a biting puppy, and a little kid who kicks him in the shins for fun. He also gets hit by a bus (off screen), though he weathers it all with good cheer. “Optimists feel less pain,” reads the tagline. It’s one of a series of sometimes gross, often funny ads the agency has created over the years under the heading “now you know.” But according to the agency, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission doesn’t want your curiosity piqued if doing so requires a few cheeky pratfalls and decreed the script too violent for TV.