PDA

View Full Version : These ads which exploit little children to tug our heartstrings have GOT to stop.


Spectre of Pithecanthropus
06-06-2001, 09:44 AM
You know the ones I mean. Pharmaceutical companies and anti-tobacco campaigns seem to be the worst.A four or five year old boy says, "Grandmom couldn't come with us. She couldn't breathe right"--until she takes some new anti-asthma wonder drug. Or we see a goldfish flopping on a table while another little kid tells us "When I have an asthma attack I feel like a fish with no water. Sometimes my parents have to take me to the hospital. And the worst...another little four or five year old boy is contemplating an empty cradle because, as we infer from the
subtitles, his mom was a CIGARETTE SMOKER, and there's 'something wrong' with his baby brother, who hasn't been brought home from the hospital yet. Probably he has three eyes and and extra leg or two. "Where's my baby brother?" the young star of this commercial asks during the fade-out.

Is it me, or has this sort of thing gotten way out of hand lately?

Journeyman
06-06-2001, 10:12 AM
People have been exploiting our emotions to sell us things since god only knows when. I think that these examples are no worse than less recent ones.


The anti-tobacco campaign is doing itself a disservice by portraying a grand conspiracy or an Evil Addictive Substance from Hell(tm). Bias is one thing, but these ads are so over the top few people seem to take them seriously.

I thought the worst offender in this regard was the couple of "rebel" students, rebelliously clean cut and carrying recording equipment, sneaking into a generic high rise office and take an executive by surprise. It was supposed to look like a covert operation, I guess. It failed.

Sorry, I had to get that off my chest.

Duck Duck Goose
06-06-2001, 10:56 AM
To address the OP:

Oh yes. Definitely.

My theory is that kids work cheaper than adults and aren't as likely to be sticky about the whole "residuals thing", being more of "take the money and run while you're still little and cute" mindset. Also, cute child actors are a dime a dozen, and they're pretty much interchangeable, but it can be difficult to cast adult actors who can really "sell" a product, requiring extensive auditions and consultations with the client and audience testing and such-like.

Also, there's been a sort of undercurrent for a long time now, of "the reason you take your medicine is for your kids". I think it was a blood pressure medication ad campaign that started it. So all these other guys are just jumping on the bandwagon.

Guinastasia
06-06-2001, 11:09 AM
It's gotta be better than those Sally Struthers Save the Children commercials. Really, does the money sent in even GO to the kids, or does it go towards feeding Struthers?

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
06-06-2001, 11:31 AM
Originally posted by Journeyman
[B]People have been exploiting our emotions to sell us things since god only knows when. I think that these examples are no worse than less recent ones.

Very true, and they've been using little kids in commercials ever since radio and TV have existed. But in the commercials I mentioned, a new low in pathos is reached.



The anti-tobacco campaign is doing itself a disservice by portraying a grand conspiracy or an Evil Addictive Substance from Hell(tm). Bias is one thing, but these ads are so over the top few people seem to take them seriously.

I thought the worst offender in this regard was the couple of "rebel" students, rebelliously clean cut and carrying recording equipment, sneaking into a generic high rise office and take an executive by surprise. It was supposed to look like a covert operation, I guess. It failed.

Sorry, I had to get that off my chest.

No need to apologize! I couldn't agree more. It seems to me that smoking has become so rare in our culture today that the antismoking campaigners should consider their campaign a success and go home. Instead of propaganda, they should start directing their resources towards cancer research, and towards finding ways to help people quit smoking if they want to.

Sublight
06-06-2001, 01:40 PM
There may be more of them, but they don't seem any more manipulative than Lyndon Johnson's "Daisy" advertisement.

Incidentally, Johnson originally wanted the voice-over to say "Vote for me, or we blow up the kid", but Robert McNamara talked him out of it.

--sublight.

Miller
06-06-2001, 01:47 PM
There was one that used to really get me, about spousal abuse. It usually came on during Conan O'Brian. I'd be laughing at PimpBot, or a staring contest, enjoying myself, cut to commercial, and its this little kid sitting on a stairway listening to his dad beat the hell out of his mom 'cause dinner was cold. Talk about a buzzkill. For that matter, talk about a waste of time: if someone is such a complete lowlife that he beats his wife, is a fucking commericial going to make him see the light? How about a PSA against serial killers? Seems like it would be effective. "Kids, don't hang out at the bus station, pick up drifters, strangle them, and bury them in a shallow grave. It's just not cool. <cue cheesy computer graphic>"

Drastic
06-06-2001, 01:59 PM
The anti-serial killer PSA would be a fine idea. The usual mildly inchoate jingle could run something like this:


Be a real dealer
Not a serial killer!


As I'm picturing it, they would need a cartoon mascot with some absurd mishmash of accents to make them rhyme. Serial keeeler.

Gr8Kat
06-06-2001, 02:19 PM
Originally posted by Drastic
The anti-serial killer PSA would be a fine idea. The usual mildly inchoate jingle could run something like this:


Be a real dealer
Not a serial killer!


As I'm picturing it, they would need a cartoon mascot with some absurd mishmash of accents to make them rhyme. Serial keeeler.

Now I'm imagining it being sung by Beaky Buzzard's mother, "WHAT did you DO to my LEETL-ah KEELAH?"

Tars Tarkas
06-06-2001, 04:06 PM
These sound like Conan's own PSAs, my favorite being Max Weinberg's "Sometimes condoms break, deal with it, Missy!"

RoboDude
06-06-2001, 05:38 PM
It's gotta be better than those Sally Struthers Save the Children commercials. Really, does the money sent in even GO to the kids, or does it go towards feeding Struthers?
IIRC, someone in a previous thread said that the money goes to pay for lobbyists to try to get the government to do the work for them.

Helen's Eidolon
06-06-2001, 06:04 PM
javaman, sorry to go all GD on you, but you said:It seems to me that smoking has become so rare in our culture today that the antismoking campaigners should consider their campaign a success and go home. Instead of propaganda, they should start directing their resources towards cancer research, and towards finding ways to help people quit smoking if they want to.

This (http://www.cma.ca/cmaj/vol-156/issue-2/0244.htm) article says that in Quebec (the province I live in, the one that has the highest smoking rate in all of Canada), in 1997 (a bit outdated) 38% of all adult women smoked. I'm sure I could find a lot more stats like it if I tried.

If only endangered animals could be that rare ;)

Guinastasia
06-06-2001, 07:29 PM
I remember a commercial when I was little telling kids not to go with strangers, and this guy kept asking this girl to get in the car. Instead of running away, she just stood there, staring at him. What the fuck?

matt_mcl
06-07-2001, 01:47 AM
As I mentioned in another thread, I'm getting just a little bit tired of those heartrending Héma-Québec commercials with the adorable little girls saying how often they've been transfused and how very badly they need blood. WELL, I'D GIVE YOU MY PERFECTLY HEALTHY BLOOD BUT YOU DON'T WANT IT BECAUSE I'M A FLAMING FAGGOT, YOU COCKWALLOPS.

So please be so kind as to stop tugging my heartstrings with sweet little Xiomara Michaël-Ménard (I swear to God, that's her actual name) because YOUR OWN RULES MAKE IT FUCKING USELESS.

Klaatu
06-07-2001, 05:19 AM
Slight hijack re: Matt's post:

This post is fictonal, and not meant to offend religious types (or any other people). However, if your beliefs are against gay people giving blood, well then you can go fuck yourself! That is a personal opinion of course, and you are entitled to believe what you wish.

Setting: Hospital ER, 8 yr old female trauma victim, car wreck, needs transfusion to survive.

Players: Little Girl, Doctor, Parents, Gay Relative

Dialogue:

Doc: Sorry ma'am, without a transfusion of (insert rare blood type) she will die, and we have no blood of that type on hand.

Mom: Oh, dear Lawd, can't you do anything? (praying)

Doc: Well...(Gay Relative steps up, talks to Doc)
Doc: Mom, we have great news, Joe here matches her blood type perfectly, let's get her to the OR, STAT.

Mom (or Dad): (just noticing Gay Relative)"Oh, Lawd, strike me down, GET THYSELF AWAY FROM HER YOU HEATHEN FAGGOT!

Doc: What the fuck, hell, we can save her!

Little Girl: Mommy, is that Uncle Joe? I love you Uncle Joe, are you gonna save me?

Mom: Hush child, the lawd will be with you soon.

Little Girl: But Mommy, the doc said Uncle Joe can save me.
Mom: Hush child, Joe is with the Devil now!

Little Girl: But Mommy...
Mom: Hush!

Gay Relative: But Doc...
Doc: I hear you, I am gay too BTW, but these fucking laws...
GR: So she dies.

Doc: No fucking shit!

(10 minutes pass while security is called)

Little Girl: (voice fading) Mommy?...mommy?...mo....

Fade To Black....

Yes, I know the above was hyperbole and bullshit, but I think it reflects some of the attitudes behind these bullshit laws.

(I will be glad to debate the LACK of health risks regarding healthy gays giving blood, but I think there is an old GD thread that pretty much covered it.)

Flame away if you wish.

Ok, it was a major hijack, and I apologize, got a bit carried away with it.

Airman Doors, USAF
06-07-2001, 07:17 AM
As far as homosexuals donating blood goes, yes, it's bigoted and offensive. I'd take anyone's blood, if it would help me.

Did you ever think about NOT TELLING ANYONE that you're gay, though?

I'm glad that you are comfortable in your sexuality. I'm glad that recognition of gay rights is increasing. But holy hell, can't you see that being so forthright about your sexuality does you more harm than good?

If I were you, I'd be a little more subtle in areas where you know people are sensitive about that sort of thing.

Announcing to everyone in the world that you're gay will make you both friends and enemies. Unfortunately, for better or worse, your enemies have much more power than you do. Think about it.

grayhairedmomma
06-07-2001, 07:50 AM
Originally posted by Guinastasia
I remember a commercial when I was little telling kids not to go with strangers, and this guy kept asking this girl to get in the car. Instead of running away, she just stood there, staring at him. What the fuck?


Maybe this commercial was to inspire parents to talk to their kids about this, to stress that you don't stand there, to get away as fast a possible and tell somebody what happened. I know I tell my 4yr old daughter what tod do-but as we all know kids get scared too and don't always remember what you tell them. So it is worth repeating over and over again. Whatever happened to these PSA's anyway? I haven't seen one like this in years. It would be very nice if they were shown (with the kid actually running away - yelling and reaching someone..maybe a policeman - it would be nice to see kids - especially black boys - on tv dealing with cops in a positive (for the kid) way. Or show one in a busy grocery/dept store/mall) again during morning cartoons, afternoon & evening shows.

RnGy9
06-07-2001, 07:52 AM
I am so glad to see this thread because those ads get under my skin, annoy me and then I feel guilty about it, thinking that I shouldn't! I'm glad to see that others feel the same.
Now, I don't feel bad anymore.

Those save the children ads get to me, especially the one with the youngish white lady who lectures you about how the children in whatever foreign nation she is in, are starving and dying of disease. She has this pretty, huge eyed little dark girl standing in front of her, looking at you with innocent eyes the whole time. Yet the white lady is dressed in trousers and long sleeved blouse that were anything but inexpensive.

It makes me feel bad because my budget doesn't allow their minimum donation. (Whatever happened to the "send whatever you can" charities? Now it's "send $20 a month" or so on.)

I hate those assorted no smoking commercials with little kids in them talking about their folks either with flat, professional-style delivery or the innocent, heart string tugging concern.

Jonathan Chance
06-07-2001, 08:31 AM
We use the kids because it breaks through the noise. Almost all adults (them being the one's with the dough) have an instinctive, positive response to small children and it's effective to play on that.

Heck, from the research I've seen it works ever better than sex for catching the attention of the viewer.

And I think the 'kid-sitting-on-the-stairs-as-his-dad-smacks-his-mom' ad was brilliant. It's not designed to modify the behavior of the chronic abuser but rather to try and place a 'thought-of-cost' in the minds of all parents. And I think it does that well. People are MUCH more solicitous of the welfare and needs of a child than their spouses. Heck, it worked like a charm on me and that was WAY before Lil Baby Kate came along.

On the hijack. Matt, I feel your pain. I don't think you should be denied the ability to donate any more than anyone else. That's what testing is all about. AIDS hysteria (if we HAVE to have it) should be targeted a little more specificly. I don't know how it is in Canada but in the US the Red Cross asks a bunch of questions like whether you've visited Africa in the last year and whether you're a drug user. It once took me 30 minutes to discuss my visit to Egypt with a RC volunteer before I'd get passed along. In the end she just wanted to know if I'd been 'intimate' with anyone there. Yeesh.

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
06-07-2001, 11:58 AM
Originally posted by LaurAnge
javaman, sorry to go all GD on you, but you said:It seems to me that smoking has become so rare in our culture today that the antismoking campaigners should consider their campaign a success and go home. Instead of propaganda, they should start directing their resources towards cancer research, and towards finding ways to help people quit smoking if they want to.

This (http://www.cma.ca/cmaj/vol-156/issue-2/0244.htm) article says that in Quebec (the province I live in, the one that has the highest smoking rate in all of Canada), in 1997 (a bit outdated) 38% of all adult women smoked. I'm sure I could find a lot more stats like it if I tried.

If only endangered animals could be that rare ;)
Things are very different in California, where I'm writing from, and where the incidence of smoking is far lower. But I was being provincial so you were correct to call me on it.

ThisYearsGirl
06-07-2001, 08:58 PM
(hijack) Has anyone else seen those PSAs with the middle aged man who works at a convience store and refuses to sell ciggies to underaged kids? And then those teenagers in their fucking prom dresses and tuxedos come in and ask for ciggies? WHAT THE HELL?! Why are they buying ciggies after prom instead of alcohol? Why did all four of them come in? Has this situation ever occured, ever, in the entire history of the world?! NO!!!!
God, I hate that commercial.

matt_mcl
06-07-2001, 10:20 PM
Originally posted by Airman Doors, USAF
Did you ever think about NOT TELLING ANYONE that you're gay, though?

I'm glad that you are comfortable in your sexuality. I'm glad that recognition of gay rights is increasing. But holy hell, can't you see that being so forthright about your sexuality does you more harm than good?

I would, but they ask specifically if I've had sex with a man since 1977. I don't typically just jump in and say it in situations where I'm not being asked, but when I am asked it would make me extremely uncomfortable to lie and say "no".

Airman Doors, USAF
06-07-2001, 11:48 PM
Originally posted by matt_mcl
I would, but they ask specifically if I've had sex with a man since 1977. I don't typically just jump in and say it in situations where I'm not being asked, but when I am asked it would make me extremely uncomfortable to lie and say "no".

Well, then. Sorry if I came across all wrong. The real issue is the sanctimonious twits that feel the need to ask stupid shit like that.

That would piss me off, too. That's none of their business.

Tzel
06-08-2001, 10:24 AM
Originally posted by ThisYearsGirl
And then those teenagers in their fucking prom dresses and tuxedos come in and ask for ciggies? WHAT THE HELL?!

What I gathered from the commercial is that these kids (who looked too young for prom, anyway) were dressing up in "adult" clothes to try to fool the convenience store clerk. Not that that makes the commercial any less idiotic.

Skerri
06-08-2001, 01:05 PM
Oh, the worst one is one I see all the time late at night.

It shows a little girl, about age 8, wearing a white dress, swinging on a swing on a playground. It's not really the fact that they show the little girl, but the message that is read behind this cutesy scene.

Basically, the gist of the commercial is to prevent teenage pregnancy. The line in the commercial that gets me is,
"The way to stop children from getting pregnant is to stop adult men from having sex with young girls."

Huh? Do I need to walk up to all adult men that are with young girls and smack them and say "NO!"?? And, considering how many of my teenage male friends became fathers at a young age, don't young guys have sex with young girls too? I realize that they want to discourage teen pregnancy, but damn.. Not all teenage girls that get pregnant have had sex with adult men, dammit. And I don't know any men personally that would have sex with an 8 year old girl and get her pregnant. yechh.....

RoboDude
06-08-2001, 05:30 PM
I always thought that:

a.) Girls can't get pregnant before puberty

b.) The vast majority of teenage pregnancy results from consensual sex with other teens

It seems as though these folks are trying to further their agenda by piggybacking on a different problem. Why would they need to do that? Isn't adult/child sex already viewed as a Very Bad Thing?

labdude
06-09-2001, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by Skerri

Basically, the gist of the commercial is to prevent teenage pregnancy. The line in the commercial that gets me is,
"The way to stop children from getting pregnant is to stop adult men from having sex with young girls."


I think they are trying to refer the the fact that many highschool aged girls become pregnant by 18-21 year old guys. This 'fact' has been making the rounds in the feminazi literature lately.

Lamia
06-09-2001, 02:06 PM
Originally posted by RoboDude

b.) The vast majority of teenage pregnancy results from consensual sex with other teens


A couple of years back there was a study that showed that most teen mothers were impregnated by older men. This made many people think that a good way to reduce teen pregnancy would be to discourage men from having sex with teenaged girls. I know that statuatory rape laws in my state were tightened, other states probably did the same. While this may have prevented some cases of statuatory rape, it didn't have much affect on the teen pregnancy rate. Although it was technically true that many teen mothers were impregnated by older men, most of the time it was not an incident of statuatory rape -- it tended to be more things like a 17 year old girl being impregnated by her 20 year old boyfriend. Larger age gaps, such as a 15 year old girl and a 25 year old man, are less common.

Cartooniverse
06-09-2001, 07:03 PM
Originally posted by Duck Duck Goose
My theory is that kids work cheaper than adults and aren't as likely to be sticky about the whole "residuals thing", being more of "take the money and run while you're still little and cute" mindset.
Your theory is absolutely wrong, sorry to say Ducky.

This isn't community theatre, it's nationwide advertising. The whole "residual thing" is carefully constructed into the Screen Actors' Guild (http://www.sag.com/) contract. It's not a slipshod thing in any way. Even moreso than adults, child performers are very carefully protected in terms of how monies are dispersed, how many hours they can work, and under what physical conditions.

Kids do not work cheaper than adults. Let's set the $ 20 million dollar star salary aside here. We're talking about Union negotiated rates. The Jackie Coogan Laws, and other child labor laws, pretty much protect children working in this industry.

They may wish to "take the money and run" while they are little and cute, but it's irrelevant to the O.P. Child actors do not predicate content of commercials, any more than any other END of the PROCESS person.

Cartooniverse

Guinastasia
06-09-2001, 07:17 PM
Originally posted by labdude

This 'fact' has been making the rounds in the feminazi literature lately.

Could we PLEASE not use the term feminazi?