Art is “a selective recreation of the artist’s metaphysical value judgments.” Which facts of reality the artist finds worth communicating, and which the approving viewer deems worth being communicated, are those which will be featured. What this means is that art exposes what it’s creator (or it’s consumer, if he approves of it) deems as important, as essential, as immutable about the nature of reality. Obviously no one, anywhere, consciously believes that reality is so bizarre that there are soap bubbles with kittens inside them or rainbows made of fire, but what many people do believe is that there are certain aspects of reality which in fact actually are incomprehensible. As much as they’re sometimes loathe to admit it, what this conviction causes to those who hold it to believe is that it stands to reason, then, that such insane contradictions could come into existence.
The most prominent aspect of life in which this view manifests itself is the human condition (namely, the philosophical branches of epistemology and morality). When faced with a scientific problem of the physical world which they do not understand, virtually all Western people would not consciously throw up their hands and declare “who am I to know”, or “such is reality”, or “some things we’ll just never understand.” But if it’s an internal personal problem, or a social issue, they’re dealing with, many times that is exactly what they do: they give up, and act purely according to their own personal emotions, the current social conventions, traditions, et cetera. Of course, they find no clarity as a result, but this doesn’t stop them from holding onto the belief which precluded even the possibility of clarity from ever being achieved in the first place. If they are of the belief that there is nothing about (at least some parts of) life which can give anyone certainty (eg: the human condition), then – necessarily – it creates in them the feeling that there is nothing about reality which precludes blatant, obvious contradictions such as the ones features in these commercials from at least possibly happening.
The appeal of these commercials is that they acknowledge that feeling. They provide insulation from whatever gnawing regret or guilt or anxiety the viewer might have regarding his conviction and/or feeling about the “inherent irrationality of life” through a means of displacement. These ads allow him to reach the comforting conclusion that because he is not so crazy as to believe that obviously irrational things such as gymnasts living in pinatas or chest hair spelling out words may occur at any moment, the diffused anxiety his ignorance or misunderstanding of the human condition actually does give him isn’t a problem (ie: it isn’t a fact of reality which he must exert effort to solve). The appeal of this art is that it tells the consumer “nothing’s the matter, you’re right to feel how you feel. Look, it isn’t this bad. Be happy about it.” What the companies who use this art to sell their products are counting upon is that the relief which that message provides will endear their company to the consumer in a much more fundamental and personal way than any virtue their products (which are generally indistinguishable from their competitor’s products) ever could by themselves. At the very least, Dairy Queen is hoping that whenever the consumer feels these feelings he will more often think of Dairy Queen’s art as the symbolic representation of them, get side-tracked into remembering the details of their advertisements, develop a desire for the products featured in them, travel to one of their stores, and make a purchase.