The 13th Floor

People Are Freaking Out Over This Controversial Ad for ALTERED CARBON

This wouldn’t be the first time an ad campaign used a bus stop billboard in nightmarish ways, but Netflix is definitely pushing the envelope in promoting their new sci-fi series ALTERED CARBON.

So far, this tactic has only shown up in one location — a bus stop kiosk in West Hollywood, at the busy intersection of Santa Monica and Crescent Heights Boulevards — and that’s probably for the best, because it might cause widespread unrest if it started popping up in other cities (not to mention it would cost a whopping heap of cash to go wide with something like this).

Image Credit: CBS News Los Angeles

In keeping with the show’s concept of a future where human consciousness can be transplanted into new bodies, the ad depicts an extremely lifelike human slathered in clear goo and encased in a transparent plastic bag… but it’s far more than just a 3-D poster, or even a mannequin: when viewed up close (and touched, if you’re not squeamish), the figure seems to have realistic, pliable flesh, and can actually be seen breathing.

As horrific as that might seem — and many parents are concerned about children viewing it — most L.A. residents seem to be more fascinated than scared, at least according to a report by L.A.’s CBS 2 News:

“It’s kind of incredible as far as advertising a TV show goes,” one West Hollywood man told the reporter. Another described it as “intriguing,” but didn’t think it went too far; one woman said she was just confused at first: “I was like, ‘What is that coming out of the bus stop?'”

Most of those interviewed said they were fascinated enough by the ad to take a peek at the show.

“I think the whole point is for it to be creepy,” one man said. “I’m definitely gonna check it out.”