4 Things That TV Commercials Will Never Show You

Commercials use their compressed airtime to present to us a heightened version of our world where their product -- their glorious, problem-obliterating product -- forever alters the path of our lives, for this food/gadget/service has slit the throat of our need for a food/gadget/service such as theirs. And look! This food/gadget/service is 17 cents cheaper than the other 12 versions of it made by some other disreputable assholes!

When commercials reach that high, they tend to overlook some fairly commonplace experiences associated with their products so they can just show you the good stuff. They create a glaring absence. No matter how obviously unrealistic their short narrative is, there's still that one aspect of a food/gadget/service they never depict. Simple, everyday things like ...

#4. Toothpaste Foam All Over Someone's Mouth

Jaimie Duplass/iStock/Getty Images

Brush your teeth for more than 15 seconds and your lips will be dripping with foamy toothpaste residue. It might dribble down your chin, land on your shirt, or roll down your hand. It's universal. No one is exempt from looking like they French kissed a luffa ... except for people brushing their teeth in toothpaste commercials, whose faces are so attractive, they repel messy substances. They've been scotch guarded by God.

I guess it makes some kind of sense from an advertising point of view. Why promote the fact that your product makes a mess when it's supposed to be a cleaner? From that conclusion, we get commercials where we don't even see the product being used. None of the people brushing their teeth in commercials is ever using toothpaste:

If you've ever brushed your teeth with slightly less toothpaste than you normally use, you know that if you continue dragging those dry, lifeless bristles around your mouth, you're imposing a shitty start to the day onto yourself. If you see someone brush without toothpaste at all, they're just going through the motions of life. They have no real reason to live. They're doing the absolute bare minimum needed to survive. Toothpaste foam is a sign of effort, and yet look at all those people in the pictures. Brushing bone with something as dry and flavorless as a sun-bleached bone is the pinnacle of delight for them.

And it's so sad. Clearly these people have no one in their lives that'll be upfront with them. No one to come out and say it: "Sally, your breath smells like shit and I'm worried you might kill yourself. All you're doing is dusting your teeth. You need some foamy buildup, girl," says the sassy gay character in the first act of the rom-com that is Sally's life.

Get your shit together, people in toothpaste commercials. Get some foam on those lips like a human. Brush like you matter.

#3. The Sketchiness of Any Place Open Late


First, watch this:

As a person who regularly stays up late, I know a thing or two about the atmosphere surrounding any place that's open late. Obviously, Taco Bell doesn't attract roaming gangs of break dancers and DJs once the clock strikes midnight, as if their tacos were gremlins that turned into people looking to jam in the moonlight. Still, there's a general sense of free-wheeling fun in commercials about places that stay open late. Here's a Wendy's commercial about two dudes with their convertible top down, just looking for some rad midnight burgers and werewolves or some shit:

Everything's bright and cheery. Everyone has a smile. No one is paranoid of the creeps in the night. No one is a belligerent drunk trying to put sloppy, half-assed midnight cheeseburgers inside of themselves, effectively loading their stomach guns so they can rapid-fire burger vomit along the side of the road a few minutes later. And no one looks like they want to rob you because it's past midnight and the law is getting some shut eye.

IHOP is open 24 hours a day, yet in their commercials people are bathed in the golden rays of a beautiful morning:

They don't show IHOP at 2 a.m. because people would wonder why there are pancakes in an ad for methadone clinics. Or they'd wonder when their local police station's drunk tank started serving Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruities.

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Luis Prada

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