I was recently filling up my car at a gas station when I looked up to find the pump had a television installed above it.

gas_station

I was even more surprised by the programming.  It appeared to be an advertisement encouraging children to go to the forest.  This is the ad I saw (after a lot of internet searching):

What the hell?  This commercial raises so many questions.

First of all, and perhaps most importantly, why is there a commercial for the forest?

Why does the commercial feature a bunch of unsupervised children?  Why are they being encouraged to head into the woods by an unseen white man who sounds like he may be a serial killer?

What’s that shit about “where the other you lives?”  That has to be the creepiest slogan of all time.

What kind of economic benefit is to be gained from luring kids into the wilderness sufficient to justify the cost of producing and distributing this ad?

I could only think of a few possible answers.

Possibly a witch needed more visitors to her candy house?

Perhaps an intelligent/hungry bear?

None of these seemed plausible.  The most likely scenario seemed to me that the narrator had funded the commercial himself.

hobo_smaller

After many hours of internet research, I found the answer.  The commercial was put out by the Ad Council.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for kids spending time outside.  But here in California, our state is so poor we have literally started shutting down schools and the courts for lack of funding.  I’m glad to know we have enough money to put out ads encouraging kids to run around with lizards on their back while manhandling beetles.

This begs the question, what PSAs did the Ad Council turn down while coming up with this gem?

psa

Digging a little deeper, I found out that the heroes behind this Public Service Announcement are the same brain trust that came up with useful and relevant PSAs such as How to Tell If Your Dad Is Having a Stroke When He Goes to Give a Speech at Your Wedding.

So you’re telling me that if an old man drops his plate, loses control of his arms and face, and loses the ability to speak I should call 911?  I thought he was just doing an impression of Two Face from Batman.  Gee thanks Ad Council!

The Ad Council’s website is a treasure trove of hilarity.  How about this one consisting of a solid 30 seconds of people silent-screaming while they have to spend time with the elderly.

Or how about this one, which spends the entire time following a guy through his work day before warning us to prepare for natural disasters, but then gives zero advice on what to do in the event of an actual disaster.

Here’s one that just shows a girl getting murdered by a truck.

What the hell are these commercials even for?

The sad part is the Ad Council used be involved in some important issues.

Remember Rosie the Riveter?  Or “Loose Lips Sink Ships”?  Those were made by the Ad Council.  God only knows what those posters would say today.

rosie-the-riviter

 

loose-lips

In summary, someone please invade Poland so the Ad Council can get back to making things that are not completely terrible.

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