Bellevue casket company pushes to bury ‘Daylight Saving Time’

Mar 9, 2024, 9:09 AM | Updated: 2:26 pm

daylight saving time...

David Dastmalchian in ad advertisement to end Daylight Saving Time for Titan Caskets, based in Bellevue. (Photo courtesy of Titan Caskets advertisement)

(Photo courtesy of Titan Caskets advertisement)

As we spring forward into Daylight Saving Time this weekend, a Bellevue-based online casket company is dying to weigh in on the matter.

Titan Caskets has released a darkly humorous video, featuring their spokesman, actor David Dastmalchian (“Oppenheimer,” “The Suicide Squad,” “Dune,” the “Ant-Man” movies) flanked by clocks and a Titan Casket behind him, urging viewers to support an effort to convince Congress to permanently end Daylight Saving Time.

The ad begins with Dastmalchian, dressed all in black, citing study statistics from the University of Colorado at Boulder about a 6% increase in fatal car accidents during the work week after the start of the time change.

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“At Titan Casket,” he said during the ad, “we obviously have an interest in you dying. But…we can wait. That’s why we invite you to visit ‘‘ where you can join the effort to put our national nuisance six feet under. If an actual casket company still doesn’t think it’s worth keeping around, who does?”

Joshua Siegel, co-founder of Titan Caskets, said the idea for the unusual promotion started with the company they’ve been using for their marketing: Maximum Effort. It’s probably best known for its owner, Ryan Reynolds, who named the firm after one of the catchphrases used by his character Wade Wilson in the movie “Deadpool.”

Siegel said it was easy for Titan to approve the idea because the humor and message were a natural fit. He also said the viewers are also enjoying it.

“So far the response has been almost universally positive. There are tons of comments on social media” Siegel told KIRO Newsradio. “We’ve seen almost universally positive comments like ‘this is funny.'”

One unusual aspect of the ad campaign is that it incorrectly refers to the time change as “Daylight Savings,” with an “s” at the end. The actual name is “Daylight Saving.” Why go with the incorrect name?

“We will call it whatever Mr. Reynolds wants to call it”, laughed Siegel. He says while Ryan Reynolds was not involved in the pitch to Titan about the spot, he was personally involved in all aspects of it and he “even tweeted about it.”

But even a lighthearted advertisement about dying can have a dark response.

“We have gotten a few notes from farmers, who surprisingly were upset with the ad because we said that farmers want to keep Daylight Saving,” Siegel said. “Actually, they don’t. Farmers in general — it throws off their cow’s milking cycle and they would love to see Daylight Saving Time go away as well.”

Turns out farmers were not behind the reason for moving the clocks forward an hour every spring. It was enacted in the U.S. in 1916, to conserve fuel and make better use of daylight during World War I. It was repealed in 1919, but was reinstated during World War II, and has been around ever since.

Only Arizona and Hawaii do not observe the time change.

Some lawmakers in the Washington State Legislature proposed a bill for the 2024 session eliminating the practice as well, but it never made it out of committee.

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In 2019, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill into law in opposition to that. It would make Daylight Saving Time permanent here, but we continue to bounce between Standard and Daylight Saving Time twice a year because it would take an act of Congress to allow the shift.

It’s curious a company that sells online caskets would be interested in political activism of the kind needed to nudge Congress to take action, but co-founder Siegel has a ready response for that.

“Part of our mission is political,” he said. “We have worked with the Federal Trade Commission these last two years to improve the funeral laws that exist. I think with Daylight Saving, the advertising is meant to amuse, but this is also something that I think, universally, Americans are ready for, and so, we’re very comfortable having that conversation.”

So comfortable, in fact, that the ad ends with a little nudge … into the grave.

As Dastmalchian says: “Enjoy Life! We’re playing the long game here. What are you going to do? Not die?”

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Bellevue casket company pushes to bury ‘Daylight Saving Time’