Every December that beverage company we all know, which herein will remain nameless (because I’m a little afraid of them), starts airing those stupid commercials with penguins and polar bears. Makes me a little crazy.
Okay, you can argue: Who cares if it’s impossible (other than in a zoo) for penguins and polar bears to be in the same place? Who cares if polar bears only live in the far north of the northern hemisphere and penguins only live south of the equator? (Although penguins get way closer to the equator than polar bears ever do.) Who cares if the ads (which must be in the north, because it’s december and it’s dark) show lots of open water when that much open water is improbable for that time of year–even with global warming. Who cares?
Me. I think it does matter. (I also think it matters when words are spelled incorrectly, or poor grammar is used in materials targeted to children. But that’s another topic.) So many people get all their information from television these days, and if they see penguins and polar bears together enough, they start to think it must be true. Just look how the Flintstones influenced fundamentalist Christians. LOL.
Proof of my theory that these ads are evil? I just read today that, “A new science textbook for school claims that polar bears eat penguins…” This was reported by Graeme Paton, in British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph. Peter Cotgreave, the chairman of the Campaign for Science and Engineering, is quoted in the article as saying, “….It reflects a loss of respect for science.”
Yes, that’s true. But I also think it proves that it does matter what you show in ads and movies. How influenced the average person can be by misinformation. (Hey, great fascists and dictators understood this. They called it propaganda. Arguably the good people at Fox News understand it, too, but I serioulsly digress.) Obviously the writers and editors of this text book (TEXT BOOK!!!) were influenced enough by images like those ads (that beverage company isn’t the first offender, here) that they believed this was a fact.
Maybe (I hope) the people who created those ads knew the polar bear/penguin land they created was fanciful… but I fear far too many of the viewers who see it, including children, don’t understand the fanciful part.
(But I totally buy that there are polar bears on the island in LOST. 😉