We all know consciously to take advertising with a grain of salt. Those McDonald's burgers can't look as manicured in person the way they do in the ads. Examples like that are easy to catch. It's harder to spot false advertising when companies are bending the truth so much, your bullshit detectors don't know which way is up.
Take Listerine mouthwash. It was originally sold as a surgical antiseptic until some ad men in the 1920s were like, "if we told everyone to wash their mouths out with this industrial cleaner every day, then we'd make so much money we could light our cigars with the cash, but how...". The answer was in a book of medical terminology. They looked up the fanciest word for bad breath -- halitosis -- and made an ad campaign telling everyone it was a chronic disease with only one cure.
"Hey, sonny boy! Does your dame ever tell ya you have bad breath?"
"Why, yes mister!"
"That's simply because you're dying son. Say here, drink this poison, BUT SPIT IT OUT FIRST. And do it every day for the rest of your life."
And 90 years later we still use Listerine and still think halitosis is is a disease and not just latin for brush your damn teeth.
Modern movies do this too. Sometimes if studios have a real clunker on their hands, they'll cut a trailer that's so unrepresentative of the movie, you would want to sue to get your money back. A lot of times this happens to children's movies with disastrous results for the parents that think they're about to spend 2 hours with a rapping kangaroo.
So on this week's podcast, Jack O'Brien is joined by Cracked writers Carmen Angelica and JM McNab and producer Brett Rader for a discussion of horribly misleading movie trailers, straight-up advertising lies and the contemporary commercials that are messing with your perception of reality.
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