Friday, August 06, 2004

Are We Litigious... Or Just Stupid?

The height of absurdity, it seems to me, is seeing all these ridiculous disclaimers on television commercials. It wouldn't be so bad if they were disclaimers that made any sense, or that were actually useful to consumers (like, "WARNING: CIRCUIT CITY OVERPRICES ITS INVENTORY" or, "WARNING: SCOTT TOILET TISSUE FEELS LIKE SANDPAPER.")

No, we have to have our intelligence insulted instead. The latest example is the new Burger King campaign which features the cartoonish "Dr. Angus" and his "Angus Diet." As if it wasn't painfully obvious that this is a parody of stupid diet trends, we have to be treated to the disclaimer, "THE ANGUS DIET IS NOT AN ACTUAL DIET" and "DR. ANGUS IS NOT A REAL DOCTOR." Sheesh. (And, just in case you missed the info from the Bud Light commercials, the Bud Light Institute doesn't really exist, either.)

Of course, some disclaimers could be useful to morons, like the "DO NOT ATTEMPT" warning that accompanies the new Dairy Queen brownie blizzard ad. That's the one that features a guy sticking his tongue into a moving electric beater and screaming in pain for what seems like an eternity, all topped off by a shot of his tongue mangled and wrapped up in the beaters. Has "Jackass" really ruined our culture so much that we now need to be reminded NOT to do this? I guess it has.

The most ubiquitous disclaimers, though, are the "PROFESSIONAL DRIVER ON CLOSED COURSE" warnings in every car commercial. Do we need to be warned about that even while watching someone drive the car at slow speed down an empty street. Apparently so. But it's really overkill to see that warning in that Scion commercial which features the box-on-wheels being driven through a heavily-animated landspace of futuristic skyscrapers, aliens and space ships. I'm glad they told me not to attempt that, or else I'd be out in my junky 1990 Ford Escort right now looking for come CGI to drive through.

Thank you, Scion!

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