Immoral Commercials - Macleans.ca

Immoral Commercials

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This is another commercial I uploaded from that 1982-3 tape, but it gives me a chance to ask a question of my vast readership (“vast” means small, right?): what’s a commercial you’ve seen, now or in the past, where the characters seem to be praised for behaving in a really immoral or horrible way?

What got me to thinking about that was recalling this Raisin Bran commercial, made at a time when The Dukes of Hazzard was still on the air, Burt Reynolds was a superstar, and America’s love affair with rednecks and car chases continued unabated. As you will see, what happens in the commercial is that a police officer, neglecting his duties, perks up when he sees a truck full of delicious, nutritious Raisin Bran. So even though the truck isn’t breaking any laws, Officer Mike gives chase on his motorcycle, forces the truck to pull over, and then apparently forces the guy to get out, distrupting his whole schedule, just so Mike can help himself to the product. Now, I ask you, is that right?

This was really really common in cereal commercials, starting with Trix and Lucky Charms. Every other cereal commercial seemed to glorify selfishness and criminality. The kids trying to steal the Lucky Charms? They’re OK. Sugar Bear stealing Sugar Crisp? He’s cool. Barney Rubble steals Fred Flintstone’s Fruity Pebbles all the time. And of course we all hate those kids from the Trix commercials. Is there something about cereal that lends itself to this kind of commercial — like maybe the idea is that since we take cereal for granted, the commercial needs to make it more exciting, and what better way than to show that people will literally break the law to get it?

Ah, well, here’s the Raisin Bran commercial that glorified abuse of police power. Other suggestions of immoral or criminality-glorifying commercials are welcome.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8QuCGEKetc