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Creepy Babies From The Uncanny Valley

Topics: Popular Media | 1 CommentBy admin | July 5, 2009

When cute goes creepy: Why do advertisers insist on using creepy images of babies moving like adults?

It’s probably a good idea to keep them caged

There are more things wrong with the video at left than I could possibly list, but I never let that stop me. First of all, it’s an ad for a product, and I’m displaying it for free. Secondly, it’s an ad for a really stupid product, bottled water. But what really riles up my sense of wrong has more to do with a general sense of creepiness. Ever since the original dancing baby of 1996 , we’ve found ourselves occasionally assaulted by the uncanny valley effect that’s induced by making a baby do things babies don’t actually do. Whether it’s an ad for Evian (as in the clip at left) or a Lebanese diaper ad, the image of a baby moving like an adult arouses a mild cognitive dissonance that either makes one laugh or cringe, depending on one’s personal psychological make-up. Somehow it’s less disturbing when a baby thinks like an adult, as in the 1989 film Look Who’s Talking, but I imagine that’s because we anthropomorphise babies much like pets, so oddly even talking horses seem to be acceptable. For more creepy babies, check out the vintage Baby Laughs Alot doll, or these motion-sensitive babies in a toy store. And be glad there are only 27 seconds of this zombie baby from hell. It probably ate the camera person at the end of the clip. And frankly, even a real baby can be a little creepy now and then. Especially when it’s having a Kung Fu standoff with a prairie dog.

It’s probably a good idea to keep them caged….

Read Comments

  1. Posted by kristin on 07.05.09 8:35 am

    this is a perfect reason why i could never go into advertising.