by Michael Roesler from i am playing outside
The Multiple Sclerosis fund raising commercial goes like this:
The Phillips Arcitec Shaver commercial goes like this:
(apologies for bad video quality, but this is the only full-length version on the web. Go here for higher quality short version.)
The two cents from Michael:
I saw these two commercials within 24 hours of each other, both on CNN. How the hell did this happen? My best guess is that one ad agency is lacking ideas. Did the MS people need a cheap commercial [since they're trying to raise money, not spend it], so they just stole Phillips' idea? Did Phillips think 'Hey, lets be assholes? Razors are way cooler than stopping MS?' And why is CNN dumb enough to be airing identical commercials? Haven't they noticed that something is up?
Whatever the outcome, I think its pretty tacky that a razor is putting itself up against fighting a disease.
And two more cents from the Editor (Katrocket):
The people who schedule commercials work in a department called "Traffic". I used to be a Traffic Manager, and I assure you that the staff at TV networks don't actually view any ad content before scheduling airtime, so they would never know that the scripts for these two ads are similar. Scripts are read and approved ahead of time by Advertising Standards Councils (a sort of censor board), and given a pass or fail based solely on their national broadcasting regulations. If it's good enough for them, the network will air it until a complaint is filed.
Because MS is a registered charity, their time slot is usually donated by the network whenever there is low ad inventory (i.e.- not enough paying advertisers to fill up commercial breaks). It's a wild card situation where schedulers try to give all charities their fair chance at viewership, so they rotate PSAs (Public Service Announcements) as equally as they can, and absolutely no consideration is given to the content of the ad itself, or any other ads in the cluster (a not-so-fancy word for "commercial break") because all spots are labelled by client or product.
There's a few exceptions. They would obviously avoid running a beer commercial right after an ad for Alcoholics Anonymous. They try not to put car commercials, beer commercials, and "don't drink and drive" PSA's in the same cluster. But these poor schedulers have a dozen other more important criteria to consider, like meeting broadcast regulations and advertisers' demands, so occasionally something slips through the cracks.
I guess I'm just saying that CNN isn't that dumb, at least not in this case. They're just automated to the point where computers can't make the same kinds of creative or moral decisions that humans can. It's all monkeys and machines, baby.