Then he throws up and hangs out with his daughter and shut up, I'm not crying, I just have that disease the guy from Casino Royale has, only instead of crying blood it's tears, and instead of being a tell for when I'm bluffing it's a thing I do when I'm sad. But in the commercial he beats the cancer! I feel so inspired and rejoiceful! We see him jogging, hanging out with his friends, teasing his daughter, going to barbecues, and ...
... did he just fucking choke on a hamburger?
He did. He did, and now he's dead, right after beating cancer. How ironic.
The Fucking Shit Was That?
Guys, what the hell? I admit that there's a fine line between "bringing awareness to a tragedy" and "making me feel uncomfortable and manipulated," but this shit is all the way into "Nicholas Sparks fucking my dead puppy" territory. There's no irony, no clever twist. It's just awful.
And it's not even good advertising! This is meant to be promoting first aid. But people don't learn first aid because they're scared of their dad choking on hamburgers, they learn first aid because they want to be a hero. If you're making an ad about first aid, go the tried-and-true route: point out that if you're at a party and save someone's fucking life, you are super getting laid that night. The sexiest person at that party will put their tongue wherever you want -- and you won't even have to ask. Just point, and they'll start a lickin'.
That's what "aspirational" means. Give us something wonderful to try to be -- don't just remind us that our existence is governed by ineffable chaos and that our entropic lives will end in a pointless and cruel extinguishing of our consciousness. That's the kinda shit you put in comedy articles.
What This Means for You
iri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images
You think you're pretty smart, don't you. You think you've got it all figured out, like the world doesn't have any more tricks for you. Well, I have bad news, and that bad news is an advertisement.
Not enough? Here are two more. These are all ads that tell inspiring, heart-warming, touching stories and then arbitrarily tack their own product on the end. Think you're above this shit? Think you're not being tricked by it? You're wrong.
The Part Where I Tell You That You're Wrong
Ads tend to work like this, according to science: they use either "logical persuasion" (like "this whiskey is made with fine ingredients") or "non-rational influence" ("when you drink this whiskey, titties"). And the scary thing is that if one doesn't get you, the other will.
People who try to make rational decisions in their purchases are more likely to impulse-buy when they are exposed to non-rational influence. So even if you always read the labels on shit, if you see an ad for Gushers with a bunch of sexy people in bikinis rubbing olive oil all over themselves (or canola oil, or vegetable oil -- it doesn't really matter what oil, honestly) then you're more likely to go, "Ah, just this once," and toss that candy right in your basket without even checking to see if it has any high-fructose corn syrup in it. Because the marketers have planted eggs of irresponsibility in your brain, and those eggs have now hatched and are eating your credit score. This world belongs to the marketing spiders now. Join me, and perhaps we can find a new home among the stars.
So is my point that all advertising is evil? No, I would never say that, because literally every cent of my paycheck is paid for by Cracked's advertisers.
JF Sargent is an editor and columnist at Cracked for now. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
For more from Sarge, check out 5 Movie Tie-In Ads With Subversive Anti-Capitalism Messages and 6 Obviously Terrible Things Movies Always Portray as Great.
Advertising is just the worst, except when it keeps us fed. Click the Facebook 'share' button below!