Thursday, August 20, 2009

False Advertising

I spent a decade working in TV promotion. You know those 30 second commercials that you fast forward through while watching your favorite shows on DVR? Yeah, those take a lot of blood, sweat, tears and time to slap together. Crazy, right? You wouldn't believe how excruciating the process can sometimes be, forcing a writer, producer and editor (cue Jeff) back to the drawing board time and time again, just because your boss -- who most likely doesn't have a clue (not you, Howard) and definitely isn't the target demographic for the show -- wants it to be "more of an event."

Have you ever noticed when you see a promo for your favorite show, it looks like something HUGE IS GOING TO HAPPEN, but when you watch it, it goes down NOTHING like the promo showed. Yeah, this is how that happens... you take a clip from one spot in the show, then grab a clip from another part... and drop it in the promo right after the first one. Now, it looks like a conversation happened when, in actuality, the moments had absolutely nothing to do with each other. This little trick is not illegal, but perhaps a little misleading to the viewer. But what do we care, you tuned in and watched the show, right? Mission accomplished.

There are other times when advertising is just plain messed up. Let's take on my blog, for example. Here I am reading some of the comments on a post when I see an ad promoting weight loss via the miraculous Acai berry. There's a very attractive -- dare I say smokin' hot -- woman who followed one simple step to getting her fantastic bod. Well, at least according to the ad she did. They even quoted her, so it's got to be truthful, right? I know for a fact that she had NOTHING to do with that product and her fabulous figure is the result of hard work (and perhaps good genes).

How do I know this? Because the picture is of my trainer's WIFE. They stole her photo -- featured on her hubby's site -- and used the image as their own to promote their product. So don't be fooled. She didn't get to look that way because of some berry. Because if she did, and my trainer had some miracle juice to transform bodies into looking like hers, I'd have to hurt him for whooping my butt for nothing.

* I think he should sue the pants off 'em like Oprah is and share the cash with his favorite clients. But that's just me.