The 6 Most Baffling Things Every TV Ad Assumes Are True
Commercials are duplicitous. They are designed to elicit the same response from us as a burning fire; our interest level is minimal at best yet we can't tear ourselves from a constantly shifting image. Advertisers do this to protect the absurdity in every commercial, encouraging viewers to watch, but not too intently that reason might step in and say, "What the fuck is going on here?" And ordinarily, we accept it without argument the same way we accept blue raspberry as a legitimate flavor.
This Cracked writer humbly cries bullshit. Commercials have gotten away with this ridiculousness for too long. Their history of deceit is responsible for an entire alternate reality specific only to advertising, one where your friends know more than doctors and pollen genuinely wants to hurt you. The following six are the most egregious.
Only Women Eat Yogurt
In a shocking display of arrogance, yogurt companies determined at some point that half the population on the planet was no longer a suitable audience for their product. In the commercial universe, men don't eat yogurt, and in some cases, can't even see it.
"I don't understand! Where is food?"
Take a look at this.
Women on the other hand, use the curdled milk as an excuse to get together in the afternoons wearing their hooded sweatshirts and cardigans to talk about how much they fucking love yogurt. They eat it partially because it tastes like Boston cream pie and apple turnovers, and mostly because it makes them shit.
In fact, it turns out women can't defecate without yogurt. The yellow digestion balls in every woman's stomach is directionless before the cultures organize them into an arrow pointing toward the ass.
The yellow balls tasked with shit regulation have forgotten evolution! Does poop escape through the pores?
Oh, right, the butt. Thanks, Activia.
One Car on the Road Per Night
At some point auto manufacturers realized that most cars look kick-ass at night. They also must have realized that showing any other cars on the road in a commercial would only confuse the viewer, because we are, after all, retarded. The solution: pretending only one car can exist on the road at a time.
The consequence is darker than advertisers may have anticipated. The only time I drive completely empty city streets is at 4:00 in the morning after a night of bad decisions. These commercials unintentionally beg the question, why are these people up?
"'Let's meet at 4am,' you said. 'I'll be the one sitting in a parking lot, alone, doing the robot. Also there are no more cars.' And I thought you were crazy."
Logic would suggest alcohol was involved and they certainly display some of the classic symptoms, like stopping in the middle of a bridge and impulsively opening every door on the car.
Nothing weird about this.
You see it everywhere.
There's a general hint of unhappiness in every one of these ads, some aspect of these drivers' lives is still lacking and each of them is trying to fill the void with a night of driving around aimlessly. Yet they continue to make these commercials. Thanks Cadillac, but I've already got plenty of sadness saved up, I don't need to purchase yours.
Dog and Cat Food Is Delicious
Fancy Feast saves you the shame of serving your cat the same chili on a paper plate you'll be eating for dinner. Cats are fickle and refuse to eat meals that don't include at least three types of slow roasted animals. In fact, advertisers want you to know that you're kind of a jackass for not eating cat food too. There's even garnish in the meal. Garnish. A cat would be more thrilled by a severed bird head accenting the dish.
Based on the ad, I would order Fancy Feast at a restaurant if they would serve it to me. And cat food isn't the only one playing this bizarre game. Wet dog food looks like it's just some corn and carrots shy of the best stew you've ever had.
I don't want to brag, but I've seen a lot of dogs eat shit, enough to know they don't care what it looks like. Advertisers are just hoping you're stupid enough to think your pet wants to eat what you want to eat, or maybe that you're desperate enough to eat dog food. Either way, they are developing food for some weird hybrid between human and animal that doesn't exist yet.
Sick of your dog's unrefined tastes and dog-like behavior? Feed it Alpo and he'll learn to walk upright and dance like an almost-human.
Case in point:
Cosmetics and Candy Are the Same
After a meal of pet food, there's nothing sweeter than washing it down with a bottle of lotion. For some inexplicable reason, cosmetics are marketed as candy. While it likely appeals to a feminine aspiration toward sweetness, its real-world conclusion can't be anything short of a man eating a woman's face. In advertisers' quest to market makeup as dessert, chocolate and foundation are the worst culprits. They maintain identical properties in commercials...
Well, they both look delicious.
...both defying gravity while flowing in aimless streams, both only existing in front of non-descript backgrounds with no horizon.
The correlation between cosmetics and dessert is so long standing it's deserving of a whole new article, or at the very least, a quiz. So here's a quiz, it is literally the least I could do:
Play: Makeup or Candy?
Your Feet Are Haunted
Ads want to warn you that at some point in your life, your feet will fuck you. Everyone will inevitably get athlete's foot or foot fungus and it's literally crippling. Your symptoms will parallel those of Regan from The Exorcist: they will spew green liquid...
...deadly gas will emanate from everything they touch...
...and sometimes they will spontaneously burst into flames.
It gets worse. On a microscopic level your feet already look like the surface of hell. Fungus is actually just a bunch of tiny, hideous demons that love it there, prying open your toenails and scratching at the soft skin underneath with no foreseeable gain on their end.
The commercials offer solutions but the symptoms they've manufactured are so horrifying that it seems impossible that some spray or a pill could ever work. You need a priest. Or you need to quit standing on Indian burial grounds. It's not clear why commercials are set on scaring the hell out of us when it comes to feet, maybe because they know most of us already have an uneasy relationship with that part of our body and it's easy to attack, or maybe they are trying to curb foot fetishists from producing nightmares like this:
Your Body Is Filled With Windshield Wiper Fluid
By far the most baffling commercial pretense is the one surrounding bodily fluids. There are likely hundreds of little girls across the country with both network television and bashful mothers who have no idea their first period won't be the color and consistency of mouthwash. I'm sympathetic to an advertiser's squeamishness around showing a pad actually at work, but the fact that they've apparently settled on Windex as the stand in for all nasty bodily fluids is more than a little odd.
It extends further than just periods too, diaper commercials have hopped on board with the conceit that leaking blue anything is OK for any living creature.
So why stop there? Why don't commercials show the durability of Kleenex by blowing blue fluid through facial tissues? Or the power of condoms by shooting blue water into the reservoir tip? What do the Adventure Golf putt-putt courses smell like in the diaper ad universe? Then again, if ads insist that blue is the all-encompassing color of human secretion, I hate to think what flavor blue raspberry is actually supposed to be.
And let our friends over at HuffPo show you some other headscratchers in advertising with their gallery of WTF billboards..