“Advertising is legalized lying” -HG Wells.

A truer statement has never been spoken. Those clever people on Madison Avenue are always whipping up ad campaigns to try to convince us that we should buy their products. They rarely let the truth get in the way either. Brand awareness and positioning are what matter. Not what really is. The only thing they cannot do, at least legally, is claim that their product can do something that it clearly can’t. This soap can’t make you taller (unless you stand on it). That juice can’t cure your cold. They can make claims that imply all sorts of things but they can’t say ’em outright.

That is unless you are making a car commercial. Take the latest Toyota Tacoma advert; it is the one where the meteor hits the truck and the truck just keeps on rolling. The voiceover claims that the truck is “meteorproof”. It’s all played perfectly straight like all the events in the commercial are real and true except for a the word “dramatization” briefly flashed across the screen.

Now, c’mon, are they allowed to just outright lie like that? As long as they cross their fingers? No subtlety. No implying. Just an outrageous lie. I feel insulted every time that commercial comes on. Have the makers of these car commercials reached a place where they have so little respect for the public that they don’t even expect us to take notice of their lying? Are we just expected to think, “look that truck is tough, it’s meteor-proof” and fall in line with their ad campaign? Not think, “Why the heck are these people up to trying to sell me a truck with that crazy story?”.

If a used car salesman salesman looked at you with a wink and a smile and said, “buy this truck it’s meteorproof” you’d say, “This truck has a better chance of being hit by a Bigfoot than a meteor”. Then you would back away and not buy a thing from the nut.

That ad is the sleaziest one I’ve seen in a while but it is so slick and well produced that people accept it as normal. I just have to call it out and say it is a turd.

It’s just another thing in this world to make me angry. Grrr….