David Lynch’s Unlikely Commercial for a Home Pregnancy Test (1997)

Vision­ary direc­tor David Lynch has cre­at­ed some of the most ter­ri­fy­ing, sur­re­al images in cin­e­ma, from a danc­ing dream dwarf in Twin Peaks to that sev­ered ear in a field in Blue Vel­vet. So he might seem like an unlike­ly choice to direct a series of com­mer­cials for Clear Blue Easy One Minute home preg­nan­cy tests, but that’s exact­ly what he did in 1997.

The moody, black and white ad shows a ner­vous-look­ing woman wait­ing for the results of the test. In those ago­niz­ing moments, the face of her watch reads ‘yes’ and ‘no’ instead of num­bers – reflect­ing her anx­i­ety.

While this com­mer­cial might seem tame for Lynch, it is the­mat­i­cal­ly sim­i­lar to his oth­er work. His ear­ly mas­ter­piece Eraser­head is a biz­zaro fever dream about the abject ter­ror of par­ent­hood.

“The client was a lit­tle ner­vous that the spot would be eerie and scary,” David Cohen, exec­u­tive pro­duc­er of the ad, said to Enter­tain­ment Weekly’s A.J. Jacob. “But on the set, Lynch was con­stant­ly mak­ing sure the client was hap­py.”

In fact, Lynch has had a whole sec­ond career as a com­mer­cial direc­tor, mak­ing ads for Nis­san, PlaySta­tion and one incred­i­bly freaky PSA about the evils of lit­ter­ing. He also direct­ed a sur­pris­ing­ly lit­er­ary series of com­mer­cials for Calvin Klein using text penned by such lumi­nar­ies as F. Scott Fitzger­ald and D.H. Lawrence. We’ll post some­thing about those next week.

Jonathan Crow is a Los Ange­les-based writer and film­mak­er whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hol­ly­wood Reporter, and oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low him at @jonccrow.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

David Lynch Teach­es You to Cook His Quinoa Recipe in a Weird, Sur­re­al­ist Video

David Lynch Lists His Favorite Films & Direc­tors, Includ­ing Felli­ni, Wilder, Tati & Hitch­cock

What David Lynch Can Do With a 100-Year-Old Cam­era and 52 Sec­onds of Film

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  • Trent says:

    It is not the­mat­i­cal­ly sim­i­lar to his oth­er work; it is 15 sec­onds long and looks exact­ly like every oth­er com­mer­cial from 1997. It is only like his oth­er work in that it was filmed and you can view it with your eyes.

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