Advertising Horror Stories

Recently, while speaking at an elementary school, I talked about the deceptive nature of toy advertising. Advertisers use tricks and other technical ways to make their products look better than they really are.  Usually, every student has a similar story to share: they’ve received a toy (or some other product) as a gift for the holidays or for a birthday. Invariably, the product does not work as the advertising makes one believe it will work.

Want to know more? Well, being a critical thinker AND critical viewer is very important in the 21st century. We call it MEDIA LITERACY and it involves both analyzing and interpreting all media messages, including ads. It also involves asking questions about what you see: questions like “what is left out of the ad–what am I NOT being shown?” A young lady has sent me her story, posted below.

Do you have a story to share? If so, send it to:

Submitted by DanielleProduct Review


(Skate shoes)

Have you ever seen one of those commercials for Heelys?  Have you seen how the people are jumping and spinning everywhere?  It makes it look fun and easy! Right?  It makes you want to get a pair!  Right?  But have you tried them?  Do you have a friend who has them?  If so, ask them if it was as easy as it looks.  Because, guess what, the people on the commercial have had months upon months of practice.  I asked my friends who have them, and it took 2 to 4 months to get it down.  I tried a friend’s pair and I fell over 5 times!  One friend I asked about them is great at running, ice skating, anything that has to do with feet and athletics but, get this, it took her 4 tries to move 3 feet… with training wheels in!  But Heelys aren’t the only commercials that don’t tell the whole of it.  So next time you see an advertisement for anything, even a hamburger, think about what what it might actually be like before you get one!

Photo from Heelys’ web page (more photos)

See their ads here

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