“Truth” in advertising

This made me laugh today.

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OK, fine.  I can hear my wife now … “You had Pop-tarts!?!?  And you didn’t leave any for me?!?!”  That’s beside the point.  Look closer at the packaging:

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Do you think the guy who designed this package wrote this with a straight face?  Do you think he actually thought that somebody would be walking by a vending machine, look at the Pop-tarts and think “Nah, I don’t need those” … until they saw that yellow circle and thought “7 vitamins and minerals! Well, why didn’t they say so!   I’ll take two, please!”


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I think “made with real fruit” means that they dipped a cherry into the 500 gallon vat of Pop-tart filling.  And they’ve been using the same cherry since 1974.

Here are some more examples:

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Now I have a good excuse when I’m caught with those telltale orange fingers …  “But honey, they’re made with real cheese!  REAL CHEESE!”

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Kids’ cereals boxes seem to be some of the worst offenders.  I guess they figure parents need something to justify the purchase.  Take a closer look…

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Oh yes, Froot Loops keep kids healthy.

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Whole grain?  I should eat two bowls!  You know, for my health.

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Hey kids, you didn’t drink your milk today?  That’s OK.  You can get your calcium from your animal crackers!


Forget the animal crackers!  The kids can get calcium and vitamin C from their juice.  With no sugar added!

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Of course, you don’t need to add sugar, since you’re already getting 21 grams per 200 gram serving (in other words, this stuff is over 10% sugar)

This type really drives me crazy:

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Trans fats are bad.  That’s why this is touting “0g Trans Fat”  Of course, you need to look closer:


You’d think this means there is no trans fat in this, right?  Not quite.  According to government regulations, this only means that there is less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.  They get to round down.  And since one serving of this stuff is 14 grams, trans-fats could make up 3.5% of it, but they can still claim 0 grams per serving.  Looking at the ingredients, you’ll find this:

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Just in case you don’t know, “partially-hydrogenated” is the very definition of trans fat.  So this stuff absolutely does have trans fat in it.  And I’m sure it’s a complete coincidence that the word “hydrogenated” is not-so-subtly hidden by being broken up over two lines.  Not like they’re trying to hide anything.

Of course, I guess it would be boring if they had to tell the truth.  I’m reminded of a scene in a movie K and I saw called The Invention of Lying.  This movie is about a world in which nobody lies about anything.  The scene in question showed a TV advertisement consisting solely of a guy standing with a single can of Coke, saying things like “This is Coke.  It’s really popular.  It’s pretty much just colored sugar water.  Please continue to purchase Coke.”  I guess that’s what we’d end up with if ad-men couldn’t embellish.

As a final aside, I can save you some money by telling you not to see this movie.  The first half was a stretched out Saturday Night Live sketch.  If that weren’t bad enough, the last half was a thinly veiled anti-religion screed masquerading as a romantic comedy.

Avoid it like the plague.

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5 Comments on ““Truth” in advertising”

  1. carpoolqueen Says:

    Thanks for the movie review. The big guy and I are heading out to the theater this weekend. I’ll know which one to avoid.

    I tend to avoid the cherry poptart as well. I’m a mixed berry girl, and they’re hard to find. Usually they’re at Big Lots or the Bargain Depot, but sadly, out of date.

    • imnotned Says:

      Cherry isn’t top of my list either. But when one is stuck in a building mostly shut down for Columbus day, and the only acceptable choices for snackage are the cherry Poptart and the cinnamon Poptart, I’ll go with cherry.

  2. momologuer Says:

    Imnotned clearly worked hard pushing the rows and rows of bean curds, organic milk, free-range chicken, and fresh fruit snacks out of the way in order to find these junk food items in our refrigerator and pantry.

    INN – Pop Tarts in our house, without me! I always wondered what you kept in the safe…

  3. Tiffani Says:

    ok, much to say…first of all, I about woke my children up laughing at the “samples” you provided. Secondly, YES, it’s a crazy evil ploy…

    Momologuer…surely, he only purchased those as a means with which to provide excellent research for a blog post!! 😉

    Lastly, my PopTarts only come in chocolate, fudgy, smores-y flavors…thank goodness b/c I could NOT consume such Cherries from ’74…that’s just bad for you!

    Oh wait…I’m SOOO glad you said that about that movie!! I’d really wanted to see it and now I can move on to something else! Bummed, though, b/c it looked really good on the previews! Oh well!

    • imnotned Says:

      Don’t all movies look good in the previews?

      Unfortunately, instead of following the plot laid out in the previews, they decided to make the main character (the only one who can lie in the movie world) try to comfort his dying mother by “making up” a story that she would live forever, be reunited with loved ones, and be at peace for all eternity, instead of the “truth” that you simply die into nothingness. Others in the story hear him telling his mother and suddenly the main character is a worldwide prophet. They go on to mock religion in just about every way possible. At one point, the main character gets up one morning after not shaving or getting a haircut for many months, puts on a white robe and sandals, and … well, you can imagine whom he proceeded to mock.

      It’s one of the only movies I’ve considered getting up and leaving while it was still going. But I would have woken up K had I left, so I hung in there until the end, just in case there was some redeeming value at the last minute.

      There wasn’t.

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