I saw a hilarious ad a little while back for something I can’t even remember, but the sequence goes like this:
A guy is in a galley kitchen putting together some food. Suddenly his glass door smashes next to him and the arm of what looks, like an abominable snowman, grabs him and pulls him out of the door. Then the narrator introduces the product.
But all of that is not the hilarious part. The hilarious part is this single word printed in the right hand corner of the ad, while the sequence is in progress:
This whole time?! The abominable snowman, tearing a man from his kitchen is not real?
It’s hilarious, because the word essentially says:
“Folks, this is not a faithful recreation of an abominable snowman ripping a man out of a door. But, it’s the best we can do. In a real situation, the abominable snowman would have pulled his arm from his socket and there would be a lot more blood. We can only make our ad an approximation. Thank you for understanding the discrepancy”.
It’s similar to the following disclaimer on car ads where they’re driving up and down mountains or performing all kinds of fancy manoeuvres on a flat tarmac somewhere:
Stunt driver. Do not attempt.
Fair enough. But would I ever need to attempt it?
Would I ever need to jam on the brakes, do a donut, slalom through pylons and then come to a screeching halt with my car facing sideways? (unless I’m in the Dukes of Hazzard, of course:)
I think these disclaimers come from the same people who put these warnings on peanut butter jars:
This product may contain nuts.
Not beans, not seeds, not fruit. Don’t be fooled.
The irony is that the only people who read this label and think “Fuck that was close. I’m glad I read that”, are probably already nuts.
Why not just be straight about it?:
This product absolutely contains nuts. Reread the words–“Peanut Butter” on the front label if this confuses you.