[[quoteright:350:[[TheGreatDepression http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/standing-in-line-for-free-food-bread-line_1135.jpg]]]]

Happy families frolicking on a beach as a cute little jingle plays in the background. Grinning supermodels moonily discussing how wonderful the product is. A cheerful, paternal-sounding announcer going on about how its makers are dedicated to improving your life. It seems like a normal, saccharine-sweet ad.

...Until, of course, we pan out to see it playing on a flickering TV in the middle of a war zone, displayed on a rotting billboard in a GhostCity, or being beamed into the minds of some [[CityNoir grim]] {{Dystopia}}'s residents.

The ad will (almost) always be for the MegaCorp that caused the whole mess in the first place, especially if this is a CyberPunk work.

As you see above, it's a definite TruthInTelevision. For examples from ThisVeryWiki, see AdOfWin and AdOfLose.

* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VnIrXmdYhY Used with depressing effectiveness]] in ''Film/ChildrenOfMen''.
* This was the trailer for ''Film/ResidentEvilExtinction''.
* ''Series/PenniesFromHeaven'' is all about this trope, starring Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters, in a comedy about how during the Depression, movies just portrayed everyone as rich, happy-- and DANCING.
* The publicity ad for Shell Beach in ''Film/DarkCity.'' It is one of the few happy and bright images in the entire movie, where the city is dark and run down. It gets truly dissonant because while the main character and his uncle remember growing up and living there, no one knows how to get there. Turns out [[spoiler: the [[RealityWarper reality warping]] aliens have implanted FakeMemories of the place in everyone, ''it never existed!'']]

* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' serial "The Armageddon Factor" opens with a PatrioticFervor speech between young lovers that turns out to be a soap opera being shown on a war ravaged world.
* ''Series/AufWiedersehenPet'' featured this in its first title sequence with one of the characters walking towards the dole office in front of Saatchi & Saatchi's famous 'Labour isn't working' poster.

* ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' adventure ''Double Exposure''. One illustration had a billboard for Project Hope, with a happy family and the words "The Bravest Future". Under the billboard some Project Hope goons are giving a man a bloody beating.

* The various posters in ''VideoGame/BioShock1''. The special edition of ''VideoGame/BioShock2'' even comes with some print outs of them [[spoiler: with hidden messages printed in UV ink on the front]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'', especially in the areas added by Secret Armory of General Knoxx has optimistic, 20's style billboards advertising settlement on [[DeathWorld Pandora]].
* The ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' series uses this trope on more than one level; not only do the ads provide a blackly comic contrast to the post-apocalyptic wasteland, it's also made rather obvious that they were also rather at odds with the reality of everyday life ''before'' the war.
* ''ComicBook/RogueTrooper: Quartz Zone Massacre'' - The opening scene is a Nort propaganda video boasting about how much the Southers have been beaten. At the end of the scene, the camera pans out to show the TV is lying in the middle of a battlefield in which the Norts were creamed.

* Somewhere in ''Webcomic/TheEnds'', which happens in good part in the eponymous hellhole city, there is billboard advertising the legendary city of Avalon, that people are looking for. It's a stark contrast. [[spoiler:The Ends is actually the ruins of Avalon.]]

* ''WesternAnimation/WallE'' does this with holographic billboards on Earth, and uses them to detail the movie's backstory. Pixar then took it UpToEleven by giving Buy n Large its own functional website, which expands on said backstory and is packed with black humor/social commentary worthy of ''Website/TheOnion''.

* Pretty much any slum, urban war zone, or disaster area with billboards will fall into this trope.
* The above page image is a good example. Doubly so when you consider the racial situation at the time.
* Often happens online because of the keyword-based nature of advertising bots. Atheism boards are overrun by religious banner ads, discussions on forums devoted to people who do not drive cars are plastered with car insurance advertisements, news stories about disasters in a place will be covered by tourism ads urging people to visit the place, and so on.
** There's at least one photo out there of an article on a baby dying in a house fire... with an ad reading Burn Baby Burn.