TV commercials and the falsity of their claims
At a recent arts and media conference, one of the bones of contention brought up by some in the audience was the rankling issue of truth in advertising, flouted by TV commercials in their exaggerated claims for their products.
It was noted that there were too many commercials for “magical” hair products that promised to transform women into beautiful achievers after a few days of usage.
Some spots for hair products were faulted for giving long locks of hair a seeming life of their own, bouncing and swaying around in an exaggerated, almost anthropomorphic manner. Why is the obvious unreality of those claims not rapped by “truth in advertising” regulators?
Instant noodle products’ commercials also got their share of criticism, again for the unreality of their presentation. Some noodle products are shown with a lot of pork chunks and other yummy recados, but of course, when you buy a pack and open it, no such hearty yummies can be found.
It’s obvious that the pork or chicken chunks seen on TV are there to add to the product’s appeal and “buyability,” and perhaps shouldn’t be taken seriously. But that’s precisely the bone of contention in this instance: Claims in responsible TV commercials are meant to be taken seriously, so these should always be truthful.
Some noted that several endorsers are not believable because they are too well-off to be credible as users of inexpensive products.
Even when the sosyal endorsers swear that they plug only products that they themselves use and enjoy, jaded and cynical viewers raise their collective eyebrows and refuse to believe.
Some dishwashing products go so far as to claim that a single packet will take care of a family’s dishwashing needs for an entire week! Regular dishwashers watching at home scoff, “Oh, sure, if the entire family’s dirty dishes and utensils consist only of one plate and a few forks and spoons each day!”
Even spots for expensive products and services get their share of criticism, like commercials that pledge to make you look younger instantly, or in a few days’ time, when used by the consumer.
More far-out are some shopping channel claims that a product it offers can add inches to your height in only a couple of months.
This commercial is particularly appealing to Filipinos who are short. They are persuaded to invest a couple of thousand pesos in an ostensibly “magical” product that almost surely will not live up to its promise. The only thing it succeeds in doing is to stretch the limits of a buyer’s patience!
Viewers hope that “truth in advertising” regulators will be more vigilant and proactive in rejecting these false claims and approve only those ads whose claims actually work.
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