Ugly fish represent investigative journalism in creative, weird ad

Sometimes journalism, like deep sea fish, ain’t pretty.

In a new spot for Veja magazine, the right-wing Brazillian publication wants viewers to know the ocean is just like investigative journalism. How do they illustrate this metaphor? The deeper you go down the ocean, the uglier the fish get. That’s supposed to parallel investigative journalism, as the deeper you get in a case, the uglier it could be.

Veja explains the advertisement in the description of the YouTube video.

“Created by AlmapBBDO, “Fishes,” the new institutional campaign for VEJA magazine, demonstrates what happens when you go deep in a particular topic. The aim is to position the publication as a brand that seeks out information wherever it may be, showing its position as a critical vehicle that listens, probes, researchers, and investigates in-depth, without worrying about whether what it turns up will be pretty or not.”

The only reference point in the spot is the tagline “the deeper you go, the uglier it gets.” Without having more context some might not understand exactly what the magazine was going for with this ad.

As AdFreak notes, the spot is somewhat hypocritical as Veja has made some bad mistakes in their investigative journalism in recent months – including making up a story on a Brazilian senator having $2 million hidden in a Swiss bank account. The magazine has racked up plenty of controversies in recent years. Their past transgressions paint Veja as hypocrites.

It’s a neat spot with some cool designs and animations, but considering it’s made by Veja, it doesn’t really drive the message home as strong as it could. It’s a shame because it’s a really creative, weird advertisement.


About Liam McGuire

Social +Staff writer for The Comeback & Awful Announcing.