Yesterday, I wrote about false advertising. Looking up the most famous examples took me down a wonderful rabbit hole of the worst offenders. It made me laugh, so I thought I’d share the best examples with you:
Yesterday, I got into a heated discussion with my son about how it’s possible for KFC to have so many secret spices. My son insisted the commercial he saw in the U.S. claimed Kentucky Fried Chicken had 17 secret spices in their batter (I’ve since discovered it’s 11). To him, this was blatant false advertising. His argument was that products can have one secret ingredient but to have 17 (or 11) is completely ludicrous.
While I’m glad my children recognize these commercials in the U.S. as exaggerating and occasionally outright lying (“Mac & Cheese – a great source of calcium!”), it does get exhausting trying to explain marketing and how companies get away with things. While standards aren’t perfect here, there are many more laws in Sweden about advertising that make American advertising “laws” quite laughable.
In Sweden, companies are not even allowed to advertise toward children under the age of 12. In the U.K., advertisements must not ‘exhort children to purchase or to ask their parents or others to make enquiries or purchases’.
This is quite different from advertisements in the U.S., which are very much directed at young children to pester their parents into using a product, my best example being a few years ago when my children saw a Chuck E. Cheese commercial in Texas and then told us, “This says the coolest parents take their kids to Chuck E. Cheese. Why aren’t you guys cool parents?”
To come around to the original KFC subject, let me share something that I found interesting:
Sanders sold the Kentucky Fried Chicken corporation in 1964, and the gravy recipe was changed in the 1970s. Colonel Sanders was quite disappointed, stating “My God, that gravy is horrible. They buy tap water for 15 to 20 cents a thousand gallons and then they mix it with flour and starch and end up with pure wallpaper paste. And I know wallpaper paste, by God, because I’ve seen my mother make it. … There’s no nutrition in it and they ought not to be allowed to sell it. … crispy recipe is nothing in the world but a damn fried doughball stuck on some chicken.”
Now THAT’s truth in advertising!
Just reminding everyone that I have a new book out – “As Long as I Have My Own Bathroom” – which is great summer reading while you’re on vacation, but most of all, IT CONTAINS ABSOLUTELY NO POLITICS!
For sale in the U.S. here – https://amzn.com/1530292964
For sale at other Amazons, such as – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1530292964
For sale in Sweden here – http://tinyurl.com/zfjql79
After 2 years of longing, my husband finally got the object of his dreams – a Ninja Blender.
He was sucked in 2 years ago on a trip to the U.S., where several channels seem to be required by law to run day-long advertisements about the life-changing Ninja Blender. Apparently, your life is not complete without one and once you buy one, you attain total enlightenment. At least, this is what I assume from my husband’s obsession with it.
Ninja Blender isn’t sold in Sweden, but my husband figured out that he could order one with our voltage from the UK. It arrived yesterday. Nothing got done for over an hour as smoothie-making and worshipping at the Ninja altar took precedence.
Since acquiring the sacred Ninja Blender, I’ve noticed how the word “ninja” seems to be in all aspects of society. Of course, there are Ninja Turtles on t.v. and the movies, but there is also the video game “Ninja Kiwi” that my kids play constantly on the computer, as well as “Fruit Ninja” on the phone and “American Ninja Warrior” on the t.v. in the U.S.
But my favorite has to be Ninja Burger delivery service. Unfortunately, it does not appear they are active in Sweden, but look at their list of countries! (*except Detroit – apparently too dangerous even for a ninja)
While many of our friends were posting pictures from their beach vacations on the Mediterranean, we were on the Texas Gulf Coast where we were subjected to warnings about avoiding the beaches because they contained flesh-eating bacteria, sea lice, alligators, sharks, and snakes in the sand dunes. I wish I was making this up, but I’m not.
I thought it would be hard to convince my kids not to get in the water at the beach, but it turns out when you let them read an article about a man losing his leg at that beach the week before and how people are breaking out in rashes from sea lice, they kind of decide for themselves not to get in the water.
And just in case you don’t believe me and think, “But why would people even live in that area if there were alligators, snakes, sharks, lice and flesh-eating bacteria?” here’s one of the articles that was in the local paper:
One drawback of having children in Sweden who NEVER see t.v. commercials is that they become quite overwhelmed by them when we visit the U.S. After about a week, my youngest was saying things like, “This breakfast today is sponsored by…” and “Brushing my teeth is brought to you by …”
I guess I should be glad they are adapting to the customs and language.
As usual, when we arrived in the U.S. last month, we were subjected to a special video that re-played every three minutes while we waited in the long line at immigration/customs.
At least this year there was a new video. I was really getting tired of listening to super-happy people repeating, “I am America…… I am America…. I am America” over and over. I kept thinking, “Where’s the angry lady that shouts at me when I don’t have correct change for the toll? Isn’t SHE America? And where’s the guy who cut me off and stole my parking space last year in Texas? Isn’t HE also America? I don’t see these people in the video.”
But anyway, this year’s video for customs was a little instructional piece for stupid people and children explaining why we have to stand in an hour long line to enter the country. In one part of the video, a little girl asks a customs official, “Why are you taking my mommy’s fingerprints?” and the man replies, “I’m making sure she really IS your mommy and not someone PRETENDING to be your mommy.”
What kind of psychological damage is that customs offical subjecting that little girl to? “My mommy may not be my mommy but someone PRETENDING to be my mommy?! AHHHHH!!!!!”
Another fail for the customs video writers. My suggestion is simply to run some Tom & Jerry cartoons like they used to do at Six Flags Amusement Parks while I waited in line. Trust me, I get just as much useful information from that as I do from a customs video.
Smithsonian Air & Space Museum trash can. Forget the Wright Brothers’ plane, Apollo 11 and the Spirit of St. Louis – where can I buy this trash can?
A typical baked potato in Texas – with pulled pork of course:
So apparently at Dulles airport, when you need to get from one terminal to another, you ride in a boat/car/train. I have never seen this in my life. First of all, it’s extremely slow, non-practical and insane. Second, we are in 2016, right? Is Dulles aware that other forms of transportation technology exist? It also raises up and down very slowly when it gets to the terminal. Is there anyone who can explain how this ever seemed like a good idea?
One of the nice things about our trip to the U.S. – I can finally get enough pickles on my hamburger.
I much prefer seeing news about this type of war:
This came up as a suggestion for recipes on my Pintrest. I really don’t think it’s going to catch on. Also, the word “funeral” should never be in the same sentence as the words “easy cheesy.”
A little nature lesson today. This is what ant beds look like in Sweden. They are made from pine needles in the forest and are enormous!
I work as a freelance translator from Swedish to English and sometimes companies want me to translate to British English, which brings me to the question asked by many: “What’s your problem with using the letter Z?”
Moisturiser, organise, realise, supervise, etc.
Loosen up, Brits! The letter “Z” is where it’s at! Add some spice into your life! Z is cool, Z is hip!
This blog post brought to you by the letter Z.
Saw this advertisement for a massage clinic. Is it just me, or does it look more like he’s on his way to the morgue?
Um… today is the Euro Cup match between Sweden and Italy. So I’m assuming this article is regarding soccer, but maybe Swedes have other issues. Who knows?
We will be visiting Texas soon, so I thought I would check the local news.
This seems about right.
Also, he doesn’t need to give that back. Thanks anyway.
Best sign I saw in a pub on our recent trip to London: