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This is a question Best and worst TV ads

"I'd like to give that dodo off the 5 Alive adverts a good kicking," says tom.joad. And luckily, there's tasty, tasty Cillit Bang to clean up the blood stains when you've finished. Tell us about TV adverts.

(, Thu 15 Apr 2010, 15:17)
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Pretty much every advert ever.
The worst part of a scientific education is the creeping awareness of the tsunamis of bullshit that sweep forth every 10-15 mins via the medium of television that builds to a state of constant irritation. I'm not saying if you've never put on a white coat you're going to lap up the descriptions of messianic perfection that are ascribed to each and every product, but you're trained to be critical and most importantly ask: "Where's the evidence?" at every available opportunity. Of course their usually isn't any.

Women's beauty products are a gold standard example for this kind of crap. Next time one is on take a look at the text at the bottom of the screen rather than the claim in big white letters with the words 9/10 or 95% in it. Those little words will, at worse tell you that everything you're seeing in the advert is a hilariously dishonest ("This tart is wearing natural hair extensions" -what so you've got brilliant stylist, a photoshop wiz AND perfect hair from some poor Indian lass stuck to the scalp of a wench who claims to be an actress but hasn't been in anything for a decade? What part, if any, did your five quid a bottle sham-poo play in all this?) Or, more often trying to sneak in some really crap statistics. Often it's a survey of about 100-400 women, but I've seen much lower. I don't think this is the place for a lecture of statistical significance but that really is shit. And that doesn't take into account the shitness of the questions they ask, they ask questions about opinion e.g. "Would you agree our shampoo makes your hair feel softer?" I'm not a statistician, but I'm told that asking for an opinion of this type is pretty dodgy, even without the questioned being carefully tailored to generate positive, marketable responses. An easy way of doing just that is to overload the positive end of the scale so people plumb for what appears to them to be an "average" or "neutral" response just 'cos it's the middle tick-box when it is, in fact, a hearty recommendation when examined more closely. Another is omitting the "don't know" or "no difference" option as people who have just received a free sample of your product (no doubt after a short placebo-effect-inducing lecture on it's greatness) are pre-disposed to positive responses when choice is limited.

Et volia, a survey of (a statistically iffy number of readers of a fashion magazine who are more likely to be convinced of the value of said product-type whilst not being aware of good questionnaire design) found 95% of them found it made their hair "feel" "softer". Notice the word "feel" there? It's really important. We're now presenting opinion (dodgy opinion at that, for the reasons above) as fact and using it to sell you shit. And there's not a damn thing the advertising standard agency can do about it.

I could go on and on about how Lynx will do nothing but make you smell like an impressionable 14 year old, how any advertising exec who green-lights anything with "there is an easier way!" in it should be force-fed creme eggs until they choke to death, how car ads are so far removed from the business of selling cars as to be best viewed as subversive surrealism and that anyone trying to sell you something does not have the best interests of you, your kids, your pets or your fucking gut bacteria in mind. But I won't.

(, Thu 15 Apr 2010, 16:39, 7 replies)
One word...
Pentapeptides. (spl (and probably a hyphen in there as well.))
(, Thu 15 Apr 2010, 16:57, closed)
Biffidus Digestivum.
Is far worse "lie science" than anything the avon ladies dream up.
(, Thu 15 Apr 2010, 17:10, closed)
Well, who wants "uncomfortable bloating"?
i.e. the urge to fart
(, Thu 15 Apr 2010, 17:11, closed)
Both are examples of complete
(, Thu 15 Apr 2010, 17:31, closed)

I saw one the other day which had about 80% of 35 women agreeing.

35 women!!
(, Fri 16 Apr 2010, 1:25, closed)
I love you.

(, Fri 16 Apr 2010, 15:12, closed)

(, Fri 16 Apr 2010, 19:11, closed)

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