Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Warning: This Blog Post May Cause Discomfort

Having kids in your house makes you infinitely more aware of what kind of commercials are being shown on television.  I know this for two reasons.  First, I have had to field questions on what erectile dysfunction is.  Second, because my sons magically know about every single toy out there before I ever hear about it.  What is more, every toy is awesome and they want it.

Perhaps you didn’t realize that watching TV and being exposed to commercial after commercial extolling the value of a product that is far less impressive in person than it is in full color being used by professionals on screen was why your kids were able to tell you about every feature included in the toy they are melting down over not getting in the middle of the store.  I don’t mean to dash the imagery that you may have of your children hosting thoughtful and conscientious consumer-reports-esque review sessions with their playmates.

But I digress.

The reason I mention commercials today is because I have noticed recently that every commercial contains a legal disclaimer.  Medications are certainly the worst offenders.  The manufacturers make it all sound very tame at first, suggesting that their particular drug “might not be right for you.”  They say this because their drug might cause you to incur seizures, blindness (temporary or permanent), homicidal dreams or bleeding from the pores.  I’m fairly certain such symptoms would not be right for anybody.

But even children’s toy commercials have ridiculous legal disclaimers.  Foam dart guns need to remind us not to shoot at anyone’s face.  Arts and crafts products warn of toxic materials.  Small parts are announced such that parents with little ones can be prepared to worry about what their child might try to eat or shove up their noses.  A toy shown flying through the sky includes a note in microscopic letters at the bottom of the screen reading: Toy does not fly.

It all reminded me of one of my favorite spoof commercials ever.  It came from Saturday Night Live back when it was still sort of funny.  Please click the link below the picture to watch the commercial.

Watch the video by clicking here.

This time is coming nearer.

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