Video: The 9/11 mattress commercial

To cleanse the palate. I’m not outraged, I’m just curious how an idea this tacky made it through successive stages of production from writing to filming to airing without anyone from the business pausing to say, “Now that I think about it, this is unspeakably terrible and will ruin us.” A sale tied to 9/11 is bad; an ad for it that uses a visual of collapsing towers is really bad; an ad that does all of that and plays it for laughs is … unspeakably terrible. How could it happen?

The best explanation I can manage is that the original concept was even worse and that toning it down a bit somehow convinced them that the new version was okay. Maybe the initial plan was to have someone sit on top of one of the mattress piles and dive off as it started to topple, and they wrote that part out. A concession to basic tastefulness, as it were, amid the falling “towers” and the spokeswoman snarking “Never forget.”

The owner of the business has taken to Facebook to beg for forgiveness. You would think, 15 years later, that companies would have learned that trying to make a buck off 9/11 will probably cost you more customers than it’ll earn you, but here we are.