Don't get me wrong, I know that it's the job of advertisers to use the truth selectively and to tell a narrative that may not be completely true to reality. But every so often I notice a commercial that I have to admit is a masterwork in using completely meaningless babble to trick people into believing they're getting actual information.
Case in point, Downy's recent "Basket of Cash" commercial. Take a look, and notice how not one single point made in the commercial carries any actual real world meaning:
Now let's take a deeper look at what the ad was showing us:
I tell everybody upfront that I'm just some dumbass with a blog. But the thing is, I'm a dumbass who at least tries to know what he's talking about. I make an effort to understand science, and I try like hell to get my facts straight as much as possible.
So it annoys me a little when people who don't understand how science is done and haven't done their homework present themselves as knowledgeable authorities on a topic and start making claims that are not supported by their evidence.
What I'm talking about here is a story that's been making the news about author and blogger Joann Bruso, who bought a McDonald's happy meal, and left it on her office shelf for a year in order to prove a point.
Her point? The happy meal didn't decompose, and that means that it's made up of materials that your body can't metabolize.
I'll let Mrs. Bruso explain in her own words, taken directly from her blog:
What better way is there, I thought to myself, to set my new blog in motion than to critically analyze a series of claims that really don't matter that much to anybody?
Why, of course there is no better way! What kind of a dumbass would I be if I limited myself to talking about things that actually mattered?
In all seriousness though, I believe that critical thought should be applied to any claims that come your way. One thing I want to encourage is a curiosity about information that applies to the little things, as well as the big ones.
The claims made about the ShamWow have been subjected to some critical analysis on the Internet, but I couldn't find anybody who did a very thorough job. To me, this seemed like open territory for examining the issue in detail and separating the truth from the hype. So let's have a look at my analysis of the ShamWow:
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