Thursday, July 10, 2008

Let's play "Guess the Advertiser"

Watch this commercial and pause it at 21 seconds. See if you can figure out what kind of company/organization this might be for...

Did you guess right? No? Dianetics didn't jump immediately to mind as a way to "conquer your own self-doubt?"

For those fortunate enough not to have heard of the subject, Dianetics is a laughably bullshit practice of Scientology. You can get "audited" by Scientology kooks with an "e-meter" to see how much stress you have in your life, and then they'll ask you to pay a ton of money for more tests, lessons, and creepily-written books by pseudo-religious crazy-man L. Ron Hubbard. Then there's stuff about thetans, and being "clear" and 95,000,000-year old galactic alien warlords named Xenu -- lots and lots of scary brainwashing. All part and parcel with Dianetics.

We've conquered the sea

Okay, I guess.

We've conquered the skies.

I suppose planes are pretty well-traveled nowadays, I'm still with you.

We've conquered the heavens.

Whaaaaa?? By "the heavens" do you mean the boundless stretch of the cosmos -- galaxy upon galaxy -- in the entire universe? We've orbited our own planet and put a man on our nearest celestial satellite. I wouldn't say we've quite "conquered the heavens." This isn't Star Trek.

But how can we conquer our own self-doubts?
Find out.

Mm... right.

The best part about this ad is where and when I saw it -- on Comedy Central, in primetime, during an episode of South Park. The show whose creators lampooned the very religion responsible for Dianetics, and in doing so pissed off one of their vocal actors (a Scientologist himself) enough that he quit. What about that backstory made the Church of Scientology think buying time during South Park would be smart? Are they thinking they're going to get a lot of inquiries from the South Park viewership? How does this make any sense?

And, by the way, does anyone who follows a religion that worships an ancient galactic alien overlord really not have any "self-doubt"? Not even a little bit?


Windier E. Megatons said...

"We've conquered the sea. We've conquered the skies. We've conquered the heavens. And now we're coming to conquer your bank account."

Tyler said...

Maybe by "we conquered the heavens" they mean Xenu conquered them in his galactic alien warlord spaceship.

As for the above spam comment, I'd sooner vote for RuPaul than I would Ron Paul.

Windier E. Megatons said...

Bye bye, Ron Paul spam. Next time learn how to use the word "inquisitive" properly.

T said...

I really like a lot of what Ron Paul has to say, especially about fiscal conservatism. Too bad there are so many wackos behind him, and so much spam being thrown around on his behalf.

More on topic, I knew this ad was for the batshit insanity that is Dianetics before the :21 mark, because the creepy Dianetics music kicks in before then. Considering how strange and generally awful the presentation of Dianetics and Scientology is, this ad isn't very surprising. Of course, it doesn't compare to the sheer hideousness of the text itself, which I took the time to read some of. Stilted prose and murky concepts are ubiquitous, though not nearly as much as Hubbard's apparent favorite word, coitus. It's the holy grail for lovers of archaic sexual terminology.

Tyler said...

It is nice to see that they've stuck with the exploding volcano all these years...not sure it's all that effective a brand though. I remember that from my youth, along with the ads telling me I could pick up a copy of Dianetics at my local B Dalton Bookstore.