Monday, June 16, 2008

Phat Advertising

While watching game 5 of the NBA finals last night, a commercial came on that made me wonder what the marketing department was thinking. Really, I wonder how the discussion went when this idea first came up. If I can find a copy of the video, I'll add the link, but it goes like this: A group of young kids were playing soccer. One team wins and taunts the other team while hoisting their trophy in the air. Okay so far...

original photo by savannahgrandfather

The losing team gets its turn to rub the winners' noses into their prize, however. Their traditional post game treat arrives - McDonald's Happy Meals for everyone! The champions drop their trophy on the ground as they stare with envy. Did anyone draw the connection that the kids who eat Happy Meals lost the game? It's like a miniature version of Super Size Me.

It's unfortunate that kids are getting more and more out of shape these days. At least the kids in the commercial playing soccer and burning off some of the calories and fat they were ingesting. What is strange, however, is how at the same time that society feeds our kids garbage that makes them unhealthy, we turn right around and discriminate against people that aren't in shape. Consider the following screenshots I took recently of one of those shock-the-monkey-style banner ads:

You use a feather to tickle the fat kid with an "I love cake" shirt until he throws up. Are you kidding? These types of web advertisements are misleading anyway, so you don't necessarily expect much out of something like this, but it's just offensive. Stephen Dubner recently started a discussion on misleading ads on the Freakonomics blog. Almost all advertising seems misleading in one way or another, but there seems to be more and more offensive ads because it takes more to grab our attention.

EDIT: Here's the commercial in question.

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