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Truth in Advertising
Remember it is better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission"
Old IBM Motto

We are surrounded by publicity. How many times a day are we exposed to some form of advertising: roadside signs, radio spots, tv commercials, classified ads, junk mail in our letterbox, spam etc.? There is so much so that Madison Avenue is part of our life.Like great satirists of the past: Gullivers Travels' Jonathan Swift, Flatland's Edwin A. Abbott, or Alice in Wonderland's Lewis Carrol today's wits (this means you) are almost obligated to parody this huge body of intelectual works: the advertising media. One easy way to make fun of this industry is simply try to tell the truth. Take a good look at their messages, strip the glossy veneer away, analyze what they are really trying to say, and present the truth and nothing but the truth. Imagine what if their promotions were honest?

To get you in the spirit of things let me give you some examples. Feel free to copy them, elaborate and change them. Send me some more!
Consider though: these are no substitute for lampooning a real advertisement.

Product Ads & Comercials

Cereals: Loaded with junk food, presevervatives, and food coloring!. Contains enough sugar to make your kid hyperactive for a week! Part of a balanced breakfast only if you have a vivid imagination.

SUVs Who wouldn't want a carburetor the size of a small pig under the hood (bonnet in the UK) of his automobile? 4x4! like you are really going to use this car/truck driving along the beach or climbing Mt Kilamanjaro. Construction grade! and the owner is a primary school teacher or accountant. With really wide seats for fat people. Taller and bigger than any other sports utility vehicule. This way you obstruct the view of all the other drivers.

Beauty Creams and Fatfree Diet Foods: You don't really think that slapping on some obscenely epensive lotion or drinking a diet soda you are going to have the body of Britney Spears or Brad Pitt. Sorry... you did. Oh well.

Come on get cracking, you haven't touched feminine hygene products, beer commercials, air fresheners, portable telephones,
internet access providers etc.

Don't ignore Want Ads
(in the job market if you have to advertise for a position there is usually something wrong with it):

Prison Guard
Are you a sadist? Are you often thought of as mean and cruel? Do you find that your talents go unrewarded?
Before you are sent here, come to us! Get paid to watch the pain and suffering of others. An equal opportunity

The Military
Want to see the world? Circumvent the globe! Of course this will be inside a submarine. Forget cults, we'll shave your head and you'll take orders plus get paid! Or obtain valuable job related skills like how to strip-search civilians or foil terrorists missiles. Unfourtunate this may just be the truth in our post 9/11 world.

Come on you can mock fast food careers and telemarking as a profession can't you? (Don't forget ESL/EFL teaching posts.)

Still stuck for material? Go on the web after ten minutes of surfing if you haven't seen enough ridiculous pop-ups and banner ads... I rest my case.

Do really well at this sort of exercise then have we got a job for you:

Related Business Jargon
Subviral Marketing: This is a very interesting strategy used buy some ad agencies to multiply the effect of an advertising campaign. The firm makes short parodies of their official commercial in an e-mail friendly format. Then they release these spoofs to unsuspecting people in the hopes that they will pass on these funny clips. This way the general public is exposed to the client's product twice. Supposedly, this technique has been used by big name brands like Budweiser, Visa, Ford, etc.

Warning: This was humor, only a fool would take these statements seriously.

Would you like to take the advertising vocabulary quiz?

Ce texte © 2004-2005 Christopher Yukna - tous droits réservés

New Technology Project Manager
Délégation aux relations internationales
Ecole des Mines
158 cours Fauriel
tél. +33 (0)4 77 42 00 82

Would you like to check out Yukna's Bazzar?
You should find a lot of quizzes, lessons and ideas
there. A great deal of the Bazzar is dedicated to ESL exercises, English vocabulary building, TOEFL, etc. however there are lots of other subjects like Harry Potter, Murder and Crime, or Industrial Design (that's why it's called a Bazzar!)