Commercial Analysis

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Reductio ad Absurdum

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This is a jab at political correctness. It’s become so bad in modern Western culture that you could almost expect someone to tell you you’re prejudiced and bigoted if you thought it was weird that someone had wires like a marionette (as if that weren’t objectively “weird.” ie: highly abnormal, and therefore understandably shocking). This commercial both informs (an ad’s primary purpose) and entertains (and more importantly does so by complimenting an objectively virtuous trait within the viewer’s character: his ability to judge things objectively, and to not doubt his conclusions simply because they are straight-forward).

Update: the following, sister ad to the one above is an attack on existentialism. The boy clearly has an objectively negative personal feature (his “wires”) – and the commercial even demonstrates this by having him get caught in the ceiling fan – but nevertheless, the father tells him that his wires are simply “what makes him, him.” Why would a loving, well-meaning, rational parent ever do this? First of all, if such a man’s child is born with some debilitating physical feature, he would do whatever is medically and financially possible to eliminate it so that the child can have the best life he can (and to not do so would be obscene; bordering on child abuse). If nothing can be done, however, certainly he wouldn’t say or do anything to make the child feel unworthy of love or completely hopeless about life, but he would also not tell him – at a stage where he’s well into his development as an individual – that he’s not disabled, but merely “different.” That merely compounds his disability by impeding his ability to think about things (especially himself) objectively. He becomes not only physically disabled, but mentally disabled as well (hence the reason why the boy in this commercial thinks getting caught in the fan is “awesome.” Just think what other kinds of reckless and self-destructive things he might do with that attitude). Yet that sort of dishonest stifling is precisely what Existentialism counsels. Existentialism, in a nutshell, is epistemological (even if not metaphysical) subjectivism – which necessarily leads to ethical and aesthetic subjectivism. It short-circuits genuine self-esteem by giving people philosophical permission to treat anything and everything as good and acceptable simply because they desire it. It’s pure emotionalism.

This commerical is positive because, like the one above, it lampoons the existentialist attitude. The contemporary culture is so thoroughly saturated in existentialism that one could almost expect someone to tell you you’re a bad parent if you told your (appropriately aged) child that he was disabled because he had wires like a marionette (as if that were not objectively debilitating). Obviously no child has the disability of being “wired”, but that’s precisely the point: Existentialism demands “acceptance” for the sake of acceptance – so in principle there could never be anything (no matter how obviously bad) that anyone could evaluate as bad. This commercial – like it’s sister commercial – both informs (an ad’s primary purpose) and entertains (and more importantly does so by complimenting an objectively virtuous trait within the viewer’s character: his ability to judge things objectively, and to not doubt his conclusions simply because they are “insensitive”).

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Written by commercialanalysis

April 18, 2014 at 12:15 am

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