Friday off-topic – Serving suggestion

Friday off-topic posts are unrelated to the general theme of the earlyinitiative blog, ie not related to career development.  They are observations or comments; things I’ve overheard which have made me laugh, cry, wonder or even just imagine.  There is no intended theme or thread – I hope you enjoy them.

I recently saw a tv advert for a smartphone. Throughout the ad an anonymous (but attached) finger was moving around the phone touching it at various points and making it do some really quite impressive stuff. The thing which struck me most was the effortless way in which it was all done – the finger was gliding; the display was changing instantly; the effect was magical. Then I noticed the tiny smallprint at the bottom of the screen “Sequences shortened”, and suddenly the magic disappeared.

We have become accustomed to seeing these legal disclaimers for years. They’re everywhere. I started to think about the more obvious ones:

  • Serving suggestion” on breakfast cereals – just in case you thought the bowl and spoon (and healthy family in the background) came as part of the deal.
  • “Some services not available in all countries” on phones.
  • “Can only aid weight-loss as part of a calorie-controlled diet” on health foods.

It made me wonder why we don’t see more. There are some glaring omissions. Why, for example, don’t we see any of these:

  • “This model looks gorgeous in anything. Dress might look different on you”.
  • “Car doesn’t look this good when dirty and full of grumpy children”.
  • “Foil lid on yoghurt is much more difficult to remove in real life and might tear”.
  • “Chocolate Flake will only crumble in your lips like this when filmed in slow motion. In real-time the little bits will get all over your clothes”.
  • “Food has been Photoshopped to look much tastier than it really is”.
  • “Finding a space in the carpark might take longer than you think, and adversely affect your in-store shopping experience”.

The “sequences shortened” disclaimer must be there for an important reason, and presumably, not there in these other ads for the same reason. The only thing I can imagine is that the Advertising Standards Authority thinks that we’re not as gullible as the advertisers do. Either way, it’s fun to think of more disclaimers… “Some fruit may be badly bruised, out-of-shape or naturally discoloured. Whilst unappealing it will still count as part of your 5-a-day”.


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