I’m sorry, you’re going to have to run that one by me again.

11 06 2008

You know, as a smoker, I can say I’ve never really been bothered by those anti-smoking ads on television. Some of them are pretty funny, while others are honestly unsettling. Did you see the one with the thousand-plus people falling flat on their faces in the street around a tobacco company’s corporate headquarters? Holy shit. That one still bugs me even after having not seen it in a while. 

On the other hand, this new one is probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen put out in protest of anything. Even worse than some of those Iraq war protests–which are often frighteningly stupid–the one with the dancing animated emaciated babies takes the fucking cake. I get what the message is supposed to be, I think, but I can’t put that together with the whole anti-smoking theme and see anything that’s supposed to make sense.

Usually, the moral is “smoking is bad and will kill you”, which is fine with me. I know smoking will kill me. I know that. I’ve seen the facts and actual evidence. But this exciting new twist in the commercials, this “anyone related to smoking is evil and wants to kill you and your animated babies” is a bit too much.

Not only that, but someone said recently that the commercial had racist elements. Apparently the stork is supposed to be a caricature of a lazy black man, one who agrees that smaller babies are a good thing, and the guy most obviously against smoking is the nice white kid playing a Country & Western tune. Something about a subtle “don’t be like the lazy niggers” is supposed to be the underlying message, and since the whole commercial is offensive to black people, they’re less likely to be given the message is bad. Which obviously means that White America wants Black America to die from smoking.

Okay. Right.

Put into an enjoyably simple bullet list, whoever scripted this message wants to convince you that: 

  • Big Tobacco is really our version of the Great Satan
  • black people are lazy
  • black people support cigarette companies’ decision to harm your baby
  • black people kill white babies
  • black people are the Great Satan
  • “don’t be like the lazy niggers”

So… everybody get all that? Yeah. 

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4 responses

12 06 2008
leafless

Generating controversies is the best way to get one’s message across. I don’t think it’s a good idea, but many do.

13 06 2008
wahsatchmo

My personal favorite thing about that commercial is that they reference a “quote” (no cite, no reference) from 35 plus years ago. Holy shit. That’s relevant.

I dare you to even track the Fortune 100 companies in the US back that far. Most don’t even last more than 20 years without being merged, acquired, or restructured.

I guarantee you that what ever incarnation whatever company it was that produced the unsourced quote does not exist in the same structure as it did 30 years ago. What concerns me more (as a lifelong non-smoker) is where “the truth” gets its money from. Is it purely from tobacco settlement money, sued from the tobacco companies approximately a decade ago?

I just hate their self-satisfied smugness, regardless of their message.

13 06 2008
The Schroederist

Absolutely agreed. You could tell me all about how eating live kittens is a bad thing, but if you’re a smug douche about it, I’m not going to listen.

As far as the whole restructure thing goes, the way these commercials are voiced makes it seem like Big Tobacco really is just one enormous monopoly set out to kill all mankind. Even if it were brought to light that the “quotes”–all of them–came from only one source, a source which is no longer even in existence, I think it still wouldn’t matter. Big Tobacco is apparently like some Lovecraftian Elder God–older than time, and as far-reaching as the universe itself. And also madly, gleefully, baby-eatingly evil.

26 06 2008

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