Why TV Commercials Suck

I often wonder if I am the only one who pays close attention to the television advertisements. Many commercials are sentimental while others are shocking or original. Still some are simply annoying. All this is forgiveable. What is unforgiveable is the increase of late in of commercials that are poorly written and illogical. Some Examples:

Example 1: Mountain Dew has been airing a commerical for some time about Michael Johnson, the fastest man on earth. In the commercial, he wants to buy a Mountain Dew soda so he goes to the store but it has just closed. Not to be disappointed, he runs around the earth very fast (a la Superman) to reverse the direction of its rotation and therefore reverse time so he can buy a Mountain Dew. But, because he’s Michael Johnson, he runs too fast for too long and theoretically not only reverses the time of the day but also the days, weeks, months, and years of the last two decades and ends up in the cheesy 1970’s where to his chagrin, the store hasn’t even opened yet. My problem with the commercial is not the unlikely concept (after all, it is a key plot ingredient to one of my favorite movies of all time), but because the writers seem to have forgotten the immutable laws planetary physics. Anyone with a basic knowledge of how our planet rotates and revolves around the Sun knows that our 24-hour day is a result of our planet’s rotation and the 365-day year is a result of our planet’s revolution around the sun. Michael Johnson can run as fast as he wants for as long as he wants to spin the earth in the opposite direction, but logic dictates that he will never be able to return our planet to twenty years in the past. Certainly the whole idea is fictional, but it bothers me immensely that this illogical and scientifically irresponsible commercial is getting so much air time during children’s programming and even Channel One broadcasts in schools.

Example 2: Some antacid company (Immodium AD?) has been airing a commerical about a phone-in radio talk show psychologist (a la Frasier Crane) who recieves a phone call from a caller named Dave who begins telling our host about some problems with his girlfriend. Our host suddenly suffers a severe attack of gastro-intestinal cramps (of course) and motions to his producer that he is momentarily leaving the microphone to relieve himself. The commercial cuts to an announcer who tells us of the wonders of their product (blah blah blah) and the host returns to his microphone just as the caller is finishing describing his problem. The caller says: “So was I right to invite my mother on our honeymoon?” The problem with this commercial is the logic hole:

  1. The caller (Dave) is talking about a problem with his girlfriend.
  2. The host fixes his problems with the wonder medicine
  3. The host returns just as the caller (Dave) is asking the host about his mom at his honeymoon.

If Dave invites his mother on his honeymoon, then he’s married. If he’s married, why is he asking the host at the beginning of the ad about his girlfriend? Why am I the only one who has noticed this blatant logic flaw? How is that this commercial made it past writers, producers, actors, and a huge advertisement company?

Are these commericals reflective of the level of education in American society? You decide.

Contributed by Damien Barrett.

Posted by Cameron Barrett at July 16, 1998 11:59 PM

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *