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"How did you do this?"
"Here comes the science!!"
Here comes the science part... concentrate!Pay attention! Here comes the science bit.
—Jennifer Aniston, in different L'Oreal Elvive adverts.
In an ad for something like, say, shampoo, toothpaste, a toothbrush or face wash or somesuch, you'll see a little animated close-up of the effect said product is supposed to have on you. Like... glowy thingies smoothing your flaky hair or a nice blue barrier forming against that nasty plaque.
The celebrity, non-celebrity or voice over person will witter on about the benefits that the product will have on your hair, teeth, pores, etc. Sometimes, fancy chemical names (often made-up or proprietary) and Techno Babble are thrown around.
Usually it bears absolutely no resemblance to anything at all, and anyone who has taken elementary college biology classes could find about a hundred things wrong in the first three seconds. But that's Hollywood Science for you.
Related to Pain Center; compare All-Natural Snake Oil. Not to be confused with those warning signs they show on Myth Busters (Warning!: Science Content) to warn the viewer of the impending um, uh...science thing.
Compare with Shaving Is Science.
- "Industrial strength" is a loosely-defined and unregulated term. Although the ANSI/ISO have tens of thousands of standards relating to industrial and commercial and domestic products, 1) there aren't different sets of regulations for "lame-ass regular people products" and "super-manly industrial products" and 2) if any product actually complies with (inter)national standards it will say which code i.e. ANSI Z.81 safety glasses or SAE 1020 carbon steel. Steel mills use the same toilet paper as everyone else.
- One toothpaste ad hyped its "active oxygen bubbles"... from baking soda, that well-known carbon dioxide generator. What's scary is that it took three months for it to be taken off the air.
- Nivea Visage DNAge Cell Renewal Anti-Age System claims to "de-age" your DNA. If there were the slightest chance that a moisturiser were somehow able to alter your DNA in any way whatsoever, no one would be putting it anywhere near them.
- Scope mouthwash used to advertise as having T25, as if it were a valid designation for a chemical compound.
- Toothbrush commercials always show how the brush's bristles somehow get stuck in the middle of your molars (and that's the molars, never the incisors or the canines) and kick out all the little "plaque particles"... even though it's well known that plaque is actually a whitish bacterial film.
- Brilliantly parodied in a UK advert for BBQ sauce done in the style of a shampoo ad, complete with the narrator saying "And now the sciencey bit" and an animation of ingredients being absorbed into a line of sauce, like all those cheesy graphics of hair strands absorbing various particles.
- The Ponds Institute. Models with fluorescent white labcoats Do Science with computer graphic displays.
- Washing detergents also apply. There was a Tide commercial that somehow manages to "magnetize" dirt away from the cloth.
- Surfactants, my dear Watson. Surfactants.
- "Clinical strength" anything. The phrase has no objective meaning whatsoever.
- AstraZeneca has entire ads built around this, with fancy and science-looking CGI effects designed to evoke concepts of blocking proton pumps in the background as words like "clinical strength" or "proven effectiveness" are bandied around without a whole lot of meaningful information.
- Sensodyne Iso-active. It says right there in the name of the thing that it is exactly as much use as any other product, yet no-one notices because it sounds so damn sciency.
- Another Sensodyne product hypes its use of "Liquid Calcium" to fill dimples in the teeth or something. Somehow they have 'achieved' this without the paste having to be above 300 Celsius.
- One brand of powdered supplements/vitamins/'miracle cures' (Isotonix) brags heavily that it's "isotonic!". It's got a balanced level of osmosis when mixed into water? Um, yay?
- There is a skin lotion or shampoo commercial that showed in a background graphic several elements in squares as might appear on a periodic table. Everything's fine until you notice element Qu.
- Tea bags, traditionally square, were revolutionised by making them round. Adverts claimed that this somehow improved the quality of the brew. Later, they pulled a similar trick with tetrahedral tea bags.
- In fairness, the tetrahedral bags make it a bit less of a waste to put proper whole-leaf tea in the bag rather than the fannings (i.e. leftovers) they usually put in bags. Still ridiculously overpriced, though.
- The comic book advertisement of the "all" detergent by Monsanto corporation. Apparently, the detergent is made of little men who are attracted to dirt.
- One sports drink-type product was advertised under the name "H3O" which, as pointed out by David Letterman isn't actually water. Along the same vein, there was a bottled water with the name "H2O2".
- Wikipedia says about a three percent H2O2 solution: "may cause irritation and blistering to the mouth (which is known as Black hairy tongue), throat, and abdomen, as well as abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea".
- Every razor (Gillette, Schick, etc) company will inevitably have in their commercial a comment about how their razors are "revolutionised" to give a closer shave (either with more blades, thinner blades, blades with coating, whatever). Said shtick will come with a cartoon close-up of the razor performing alongside one of those "other" razors that presumably aren't "revolutionised" for performance.
- Apparently normal razors turn my skin red when they go over my skin, while Mach III razors have green crap on the front that prevents this.
- Parodied on That Mitchell and Webb Look in this sketch.
- There's a laundry detergent advertised in Canada that brags about its "acti-lift technology".
- It gotten to the point where they slip it into Real Estate adverts. A ad for a real estate development in Taichung, Taiwan, mentions its brand new Design for Oxygenated Living -- i.e. you can open the windows and let fresh air in.
- Mocked repeatedly on Target Women, especially in the skin-care installment.
"As you can see, it passes through the epidermis, dermis, seven non-existent layers of skin and right down to the marbles."
- A German advert for Alpecin caffein-based anti-baldness shampoo: It features a sciency-looking guy in a very tidy laboratory attesting to the product's effectiveness by playing with the length of a sine wave (representing the growth phases of a man's hair as a function of his age) on a computer screen. He's wearing a white coat so he clearly must know what he's on about.
- ↑ Understanding the original German provides little further information and makes it no more credible