Thursday, October 20, 2011

Questionable Advertising, Bad Parenting, and Smoking Babies

         Ok, I’ll admit it. I watch bad TV as I fall asleep. It’s true. It might be Psych or Monk or even something on Cartoon Network. Something about mediocre television just helps me fall asleep.
            So last night, I’m watching an episode of Boy Meets World or something similar. I can’t remember I was half conscious. Whatever it was, I’m pretty sure it was on a children’s TV station. When all of a sudden, I hear this horrifying sound that I can only describe as that of an infant dying of a 40-year smoking problem. I sat straight up in bed. It took me a minute to refocus my eyes, but what I saw was the single most terrifying commercial I’ve ever seen. Apparently there is a new commercial for the adult Pertussis vaccine that is trying to frighten little kids. If you haven’t seen the commercial, click here to watch it on youtube:

            I’m not sure who put this advertisement together, but let’s just examine a few things about this commercial.

1. Those sounds belong nowhere near children’s television. I’m 23 and that wheezing baby gave me nightmares. Imagine what it would do to little kids.
2. That woman is so hypocritical. The most dangerous place for your baby is in its mother’s arms. Why don’t you bear hug that baby a little tighter, lady?
3. Speaking of scary children, that lighting and screen change stuff…straight out of the new version of The Omen.
4. I'm not sure how many mothers have held their babies over the years, but I’d be willing to bet $5 that a few of those children turned out alright.

Call it good advertising. Call it an important message. I’m still talking about it, so they clearly achieved their goal. I don't condone pertussis or smoking babies. All I'm saying is if you had to hang out with a baby that sounds like he’s been smoking his whole life, wouldn’t you prefer this one?

Seriously, where did these people get their parenting books?

Surgeon General’s Warning: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, and May Complicate Pregnancy, But Holding Your Baby Will Give Him Pertussis and He Will Die.

Here's to Baby Books and Boring Commercials.

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