Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Ads Showing Calm When People Should Be Freaking Out

While wandering through a catalog that hit my doorstep this week I was bemused by the ad for a "fire ladder".  The product seems like one of those things that won't ever be around for people who need them, and the people who buy them are probably the most prepared, planning (i.e. anal) type least likely to have a fire.  But what I really found amusing was the picture that accompanied the product.  Does this woman look like she is fleeing a burning house?

Put her in a bathing suit with the ladder descending into a pool and her expression would be just fine.

This reminded me of the safety instruction cards on airplanes.  Tell me these people are in a crashing plane:

Of course, maybe this isn't a fair example, since according to Tyler Durden in Fight Club, you WILL be calm:

Tyler Durden: [pointing at an emergency instruction manual on a plane] You know why they put oxygen masks on planes?

Narrator: So you can breathe.

Tyler Durden: (Pure) Oxygen gets you high. In a catastrophic emergency, you're taking giant panicked breaths. Suddenly you become euphoric, docile. You accept your fate. It's all right here (shows pictures on emergency manual). Emergency water landing - 600 miles an hour. Blank faces, calm as Hindu cows.