Advertisers’ bane: HDTV makes small print readable by all viewers


Before the invention of the High Definition , large screen television the average viewer had no way of actually reading the small print at the bottom of an advertisement. Even with an HD-TV the small print on many pharmaceutical ads is pretty much impossible to make out, nit because of the size of the print, but the sheer amount of it.

Even with an HD-TV the small print on many pharmaceutical ads is pretty much impossible to make out, nit because of the size of the print, but the sheer amount of it

Sometimes the small print is merely legal ass-covering as in the case of the Cadillac ads. A car is shown weaving at high-speed on a number of treacherous roads and tracks (for some reason the passenger in the car shouts “It’s like Armageddon out there?!?) to illustrate the handling and overall performance of the automobile. Meanwhile the small print informs us that the ad was filmed on a closed set, with a professional driver; “do not attempt”. Okay, just the company’s way of protecting themselves should some moron try to replicate the ad on a highway at rush hour.

Sometimes the small print is merely legal ass-covering as in the case of the Cadillac ads

Caddy

But sometimes the small print is a little bit sneaky, which is why it’s small. The only problem is HD-TV, the bane of advertisers makes it legible to all. There is a very popular line of products called President’s Choice (PC) that is available right across Canada in various supermarkets. They have a series of ads that are supposed to be interviews. I’ve personally never been a fan of the fake interview strategy in advertising. In one such ad for the company, the alleged interviewer is talking with a couple who own a pig farm. Specifically about the humane way they raise the pigs that PC uses in its products.

Not just PC bound pigs, but all similar pigs raised in Canada are antibiotic-free

PCA big deal is made of the fact no antibiotics are used on the pigs that PC uses. That sounds pretty good – I guess. Unless one of the pigs has an abscessed tooth or a bad case of pus-hock, but I digress. What kind of spoils the effect is the small print, easily readable on an HD-TV informing the buying public that no antibiotics are used on any pigs in Canada. Not just PC bound pigs, but all similar pigs raised in Canada are antibiotic-free.

So the days of hiding behind a slew of small print caveats and warnings may be coming to an end as television viewers have sharper and clearer images to watch.

So the days of hiding behind a slew of small print caveats and warnings may be coming to an end as television viewers have sharper and clearer images to watch.

 

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