Friday, March 21, 2008

“Truth” ads make me want to smoke

I wasn’t going to talk about this because I thought that these ads had finally fizzled out, but then I saw the new ones which pretty much sodomized my eyes. In case you’re not familiar with them, I’m talking about the godawful Truth anti-smoking commercials. Here is the newest eye raper:

Even though I hadn’t started smoking cigarettes until I moved to NYC (go figure), upon seeing these commercials years ago my initial response was to buy a bunch of Marlboro cartons at the nearest Wal-Mart and light up just in spite of their heavy-handed campaign.

The original ads, airing around 2000-2001, set out to simply expose “Big Tobacco” as a malicious corporation that conducted amoral target market studies. The Truth actors activists presented themselves as earnest, pun-loving and truthful citizens, going straight into the belly of the beast with intentions of exposing the big bad tobacco businessmen, as seen in this shining example:

Well, OK that wasn’t so bad. A lie detector test, hmm...what an idea. But, I wasn't quite sure what the ad was trying to prove. Was it that tobacco companies/employees hide the truth about cigarette addiction? I don’t know the last time you’ve read the labels on the packs of cigarettes but um...

All these things are caused by constantly smoking which is, as you know, motivated by addiction. They don't put "may be addictive" on the packs because it's kinda common knowledge. If you can't figure out that cigarettes are addicting, you may be an idiot, or by today's standards, no smarter than a fifth grader. Which brings me to the next commercial:

Out of nowhere, around 2003 the Truth actors campaigners started to get a little condescending and smarmy about their “findings” in their new sarcastic ads. Then I found out the American Legacy Foundation, which makes the Truth ads, is actually funded by the tobacco companies due to a court ruling. Wait a sec? So, the Truth anti-smoking advertisements in which sardonic actors performers go to the tobaccos companies to embarrass and expose them as liars, are actually funded by big tobacco? It’s almost as if the tobacco companies are paying for us not to smoke. So why do these ads attack the companies? Isn’t it completely superfluous? This one “exposes” the fact that tobacco companies aim for teenagers. Which is surprising considering that they are not companies who are already willing to acknowledge that their products cause death or anything. It’s the teenage seduction thing they really should be held accountable for and embarrassed about. Yeah, Truth ads are really making a big statement, especially with their latest brain buster:

These commercials have to be worse than cigarettes because I feel like I’m gonna have a brain aneurysm every time I watch one. At least cigarettes won’t kill me until much later. As if the Truth supporters actors condescension wasn’t enough in the original ads now they have to sing and dance like morons to grab my attention? Oh yeah, I forgot, people don’t stop doing something until they’re told through synchronized song and dance. Not only are these ads disregarding the old adage “if you tell someone not to do something they’re probably going to want to do it more” but they fail to accept the fact that smokers willfully smoke. We don’t care if the tobacco companies lie to us, we smoke because we chose to, not because we are mislead and manipulated. That’s the Iraq war (cheap shot).