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View Full Version : Fed Ex apparently thinks... (Bad Astronomy)



Moose
2007-Feb-05, 01:07 PM
Gaze unto this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVYU8NJOtWw) superbowl ad and despair.


Apparently Fed Ex marketers aren't clear on the whole concept of gravity.

Gerrsun
2007-Feb-05, 02:14 PM
Hello....?

Marketers.

Should have been your first clue.

:P

Nowhere Man
2007-Feb-05, 02:16 PM
How about a synopsis?

Fred

Swift
2007-Feb-05, 02:51 PM
How about a synopsis?

Fred
I watched the ad during the Super Bowl. It showed the first "Office on the Moon". It had people floating around inside this dome, not low gravity jumps, but actually floating. Someone was trying to drink a cup of coffee and the blobs of water just floated in the air. There is then a shot of the group of people walking around outside on the moon. They seem to be walking "normal" for the moon, though the Earth looked too big in the sky. At one point one of the guys gets slapped on the back and he is propelled into orbit (or at least out of frame). One cute bit, they had the standard clip-on name tags on the outside of their space suits. It ends with a spacecraft with FedEx logos landing (it looked like one of the old Space 1999 ships).

Pretty loaded with BA.

Nowhere Man
2007-Feb-05, 03:13 PM
:rolleyes: :eek: :wall:

Fred

WaxRubiks
2007-Feb-05, 03:25 PM
I wonder how much it cost to make that advert.

Jim
2007-Feb-05, 03:29 PM
Not "out of frame." He got zapped by a meteor.... trailing flames.

Yeah, I saw this and moaned out loud. My wife asked what was wrong and I told her the science was all bad. She said I was taking it too seriously.

Now, I can enjoy an sf flick with bad science as long as the story is reasonably good, but this commercial was just BAD, as in majorly sucky.

hhEb09'1
2007-Feb-05, 03:31 PM
I mentioned this commercial earlier. Funny!
I started in on the superbowl commercial which represented the moon base as having zero g. My kids shushed me, "Dad, you just saw a talking rabbit trying to use a rodent as a computer mouse, and you didn't say a word." Well, except to laugh.

Moose
2007-Feb-05, 04:19 PM
Not "out of frame." He got zapped by a meteor.... trailing flames.

Doing a near-pass of the moon at an altitude of what looked like a hundred feet or so

Swift
2007-Feb-05, 04:46 PM
Originally Posted by hhEb09'1
I started in on the superbowl commercial which represented the moon base as having zero g. My kids shushed me, "Dad, you just saw a talking rabbit trying to use a rodent as a computer mouse, and you didn't say a word." Well, except to laugh.I mentioned this commercial earlier. Funny!
I suppose (I actually liked that commercial). Somehow the FedEx commercial seems worse. The animal one is just blatantly silly, while the FedEx one could have been made with Good Astronomy and gotten the same point across. I'm sure the other BA site (Bad Animals) is saying the exact opposite. ;)

Fazor
2007-Feb-05, 04:52 PM
I knew you guys would be complaining about the FedEx comm. That's the only thing that made me laugh while watching it; the thought of fellow BAUT'ers going "that's not right!" :)

I thought my company had one of the best commercials. The one with "K-Fed" sing'n to his song on tv, then the manager yells "Federline! I said get on those fries! Now!" ("Life comes at you fast") :) ...course the media calls him "Fed-Ex" so i'm not way off topic here ;)

One Skunk Todd
2007-Feb-05, 05:02 PM
I think it would be less aggravating if they had made the gravity or lack thereoff consistent. At some points people and objects are floating, at others they are bounding very high, and when they are on the surface they appear to be walking almost normally(ie as if they were in Earth's gravity field).

SeanF
2007-Feb-05, 05:07 PM
...when they are on the surface they appear to be walking almost normally(ie as if they were in Earth's gravity field).
Well, duh. When they're walking outside they're wearing their heavy boots - like the Apollo astronauts did! ;)

hhEb09'1
2007-Feb-05, 05:23 PM
Well, duh. When they're walking outside they're wearing their heavy boots - like the Apollo astronauts did! ;)Then they smacked one, and that guy went floating out in space, right?

The videos are on the net somewhere...o yeah, in the OP

Moose
2007-Feb-05, 05:30 PM
You know, other than the fireball, they'd have been fine had they made it the first business in orbit, then go out and stand on the "porch" to see the Earth from a spacewalk.

Jim
2007-Feb-05, 06:21 PM
I loved the mouse commercial! ("Oh, here's the problem. We forgot to plug it in.") But, it was very obviouly not intended to be taken at all seriously.

The same for the other commercials; they were obvious hyperbole.

But, the Fed-Ex commercial tried using something about which there is a large amount of information, conditions on the moon, and made no attempt to get anything right. And they could have had a very funny commercial with good science.

Edit to add:

Like Moose says, they were very close. Use an orbiting office, so zero-g fits. Have the poor guy knocked off the platform hit by the ISS.

So close, yet so... BAD.

Moose
2007-Feb-05, 06:25 PM
Like Moose says, they were very close. Use an orbiting office, so zero-g fits. Have the poor guy knocked off the platform hit by the ISS.

Or Sputnik. Still wrong, but forgivably slapstick.

mike alexander
2007-Feb-06, 04:25 AM
What would have been really funny would have been to get Martin Landau in the commercial.

Occam
2007-Feb-06, 04:55 AM
I have worked first hand with advertising people on many occasions (as the "talent"). They have been, almost without exception, mind numbingly stupid on any level you care to name. They have no real idea about real people, what real people want, what they think or how they live. They almost universally work within restricted mindsets and idealised paradigms.

Reality is not an issue with these people.

mike alexander
2007-Feb-06, 06:51 AM
I believe you, Occam.

And I love your sig.

Dr Nigel
2007-Feb-06, 09:33 AM
Not "out of frame." He got zapped by a meteor.... trailing flames.



That can't have been a meteor. No atmosphere = no trail of flames from a meteor. I thought it was the FedEx rocket.

Yes, it wasn't just the gravity effects they got wrong.

soylentgreen
2007-Feb-06, 11:18 PM
I have worked first hand with advertising people on many occasions (as the "talent"). They have been, almost without exception, mind numbingly stupid on any level you care to name. They have no real idea about real people, what real people want, what they think or how they live. They almost universally work within restricted mindsets and idealised paradigms.

Reality is not an issue with these people.

Ya know, some people here might actually have spouses who work in advertising. You might want to gaze back up this thread and take another guess at just who might be "mind numbingly stupid on any level you care to name."

This thread brings to mind a line from BROADCAST NEWS...


Paul: It must be nice to always believe you know better, to always think you're the smartest person in the room.
Jane: No. It's awful.

Moose
2007-Feb-06, 11:51 PM
Well, soylentgreen, without malice, I guess it would depend on whether or not your spouse would come up with an ad that portrays gravity this inaccurately, wouldn't it? Obviously some marketer did.

Occam
2007-Feb-07, 12:21 AM
Ya know, some people here might actually have spouses who work in advertising. You might want to gaze back up this thread and take another guess at just who might be "mind numbingly stupid on any level you care to name."


So what if they do? Unless they are the ones that I've actually met and worked with, which is highly unlikely, then there is no insult to them is there?

So, when I "gaze back up this thread and take another guess" at who might be stupid, are you implying that I should slap my head and say "shucks, it's me that's stupid, not them"?

My observation was a personal opinion of those I have directly experienced and I made that quite clear. Do you have a spouse who works in advertising, or are you just being offended generally, on principle? Oddly, you seem to have no qualms about casting such aspersions yourself, yet it it is highly likely you have never met or worked with any other contributor to this thread - certainly not me.
This makes you qualified.... how exactly?

The Backroad Astronomer
2007-Feb-07, 01:03 AM
well Soylentgreen they could of done a few minutes research into what they were doing before making the ad.

The Backroad Astronomer
2007-Feb-07, 01:26 AM
If they did their job right people would not picking the ad to pieces.:boohoo:

Dr Nigel
2007-Feb-07, 09:52 AM
If they did their job right people would not picking the ad to pieces.:boohoo:

This is arguable. If they did their job right, more people would use FedEx, right?

The fact that we are picking their ad to pieces in some ways increases its impact, because we are raising awareness of FedEx within this bulletin board. For instance, I would not have seen the ad at all without the link in the OP.

ToSeek
2007-Feb-07, 03:57 PM
When advertisers conduct surveys to check the influence of their ads, they ask if you remember the ad, not if you liked it.

Nereid
2007-Feb-07, 04:08 PM
The "Madonna theory" of publicity?

WaxRubiks
2007-Feb-07, 05:51 PM
If FedEx think that there is no gravity on the moon, perhaps they think that parcels marked "FRAGILE" should always be dropped from a great hight.

pghnative
2007-Feb-07, 06:14 PM
So long as we are being critical, there is also:

- the apparant size of Earth is way too big.
- when they discuss that the view is "pretty nice", the Sun is to their left (screen right), but presuming that they were looking up at the Earth (where else would you look on a desolate moonscape?), the Sun should be to their right
- the doomed "office-naut", is slapped on the back, but then is shown drifting away as if he was shoved in the chest

Dr Nigel
2007-Feb-07, 07:37 PM
If FedEx think that there is no gravity on the moon, perhaps they think that parcels marked "FRAGILE" should always be dropped from a great hight.

Whaddaya mean "perhaps"?
:lol:

Dr Nigel
2007-Feb-07, 07:41 PM
So long as we are being critical, there is also:

- the apparant size of Earth is way too big.

I think someone already noted that (post #3, I think).


- when they discuss that the view is "pretty nice", the Sun is to their left (screen right), but presuming that they were looking up at the Earth (where else would you look on a desolate moonscape?), the Sun should be to their right

Er, not sure I get this. Care to elaborate?


- the doomed "office-naut", is slapped on the back, but then is shown drifting away as if he was shoved in the chest

True, but trivial compared to all the other flaws.

SeanF
2007-Feb-07, 07:46 PM
the doomed "office-naut", is slapped on the back, but then is shown drifting away as if he was shoved in the chest
Couldn't he theoretically have used his own muscles to twist himself around?

hhEb09'1
2007-Feb-07, 07:57 PM
I think someone already noted that (post #3, I think).And, that can be achieved by telephoto lens, not necessarily by other gimmickry.
Er, not sure I get this. Care to elaborate?
I looked into this one too. As they walk out, you can see the earth, fairly low on the horizon, with a sunlit side. There is a brief instant where they are supposely gazing at the earth, and it appears that their "wrong" side is lit. But the lighting seems like it may go back and forth.

pghnative
2007-Feb-07, 11:01 PM
I think someone already noted that (post #3, I think).Ah thanks -- Swift mentioned it


when they discuss that the view is "pretty nice", the Sun is to their left (screen right), but presuming that they were looking up at the Earth (where else would you look on a desolate moonscape?), the Sun should be to their right
Er, not sure I get this. Care to elaborate?I can't tell if hh is agreeing or not, but to me it is clear that the lighting switches from being on the right, to being on the left (relative to an Earth facing observer). (It then shifts to being head on, actually).


True, but trivial compared to all the other flaws.True, but if you're going to nitpick, why stop...

94z07
2007-Feb-08, 01:52 PM
I think the whole thing was faked. If you look at the Invisible Pink Unicorn in the background She's in focus just like the foregroud objects. So unless they were using an extremely wide angle lens that type of shot is impossible.

hhEb09'1
2007-Feb-08, 02:06 PM
I can't tell if hh is agreeing or not, but to me it is clear that the lighting switches from being on the right, to being on the left (relative to an Earth facing observer). (It then shifts to being head on, actually).
Yeah, that's what I meant about it going "back and forth". It's not always clear when they have shifted their attention to another direction, but that in that one frame it seems obvious that they are looking up at the earth.

pghnative
2007-Feb-08, 03:32 PM
Yeah, it's a good thing NASA didn't use this director on the Apollo movies. It would be impossible for us to maintain our disinformation campaign.:whistle:

Fazor
2007-Feb-08, 06:12 PM
I think most of you have missed the point of the commercial. They don't care about accuracy. They don't care about good or bad science. They only care about you remembering their name, and they were using humor (apparently) to do that. *I* thought it was a rather bad attempt at humor, but that's not very unusual.

The average person doesn't think about gravity descrepencies on the moon. The average person imagines meteorites as always having a fiery tail, regardless of atmosphere. And most don't care. They weren't aiming for the astronomy/science market. They were aiming for the "hey, that dude just got wiped out by that fireball! haha pass the beer" market. Don't think they connected...but that was their attempt.

hhEb09'1
2007-Feb-08, 06:46 PM
I think most of you have missed the point of the commercial. I think we got it :)

I'm pretty sure that almost everyone over the age of 10 understands the point of commercials.

Fazor
2007-Feb-08, 07:04 PM
I think we got it :)

I'm pretty sure that almost everyone over the age of 10 understands the point of commercials.

apparently there's those here who think commercials are suppose to be educational and true-to life. I mean, the Blockbuster commercial was scientifically inaccurate because we all know that animals can't talk. ;) but that didn't seem to bug people (because unlike the moon-base commercial, it was actually funny).

Swift
2007-Feb-08, 07:06 PM
apparently there's those here who think commercials are suppose to be educational and true-to life. I mean, the Blockbuster commercial was scientifically inaccurate because we all know that animals can't talk. ;) but that didn't seem to bug people (because unlike the moon-base commercial, it was actually funny).
Hey, we can't pound on the 9/11 CTers any more, you want to take away all of our fun. :D

More seriously, as they say, this is an educational moment. I have no expectation that FedEx will change their ways or that most of the public gives a hoot. But hopefully some googling person with an interest in astronomy will happen upon this discussion and learn something.

Moose
2007-Feb-08, 07:12 PM
Besides, there's a difference between something that is obviously fanciful (talking critters or even the idea of a single office on the moon) and something they present as casually true (their idea of no gravity on the moon) that has a real potential to misinform.

hhEb09'1
2007-Feb-08, 07:17 PM
apparently there's those here who think commercials are suppose to be educational and true-to life. I mean, the Blockbuster commercial was scientifically inaccurate because we all know that animals can't talk. ;) but that didn't seem to bug people (because unlike the moon-base commercial, it was actually funny).Weird, I was going to refer you back to Swift's post, number 10 (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=919760#post919760), but I just noticed your post at number 11! :)

Dr Nigel
2007-Feb-08, 08:33 PM
apparently there's those here who think commercials are suppose to be educational and true-to life. I mean, the Blockbuster commercial was scientifically inaccurate because we all know that animals can't talk. ;) but that didn't seem to bug people (because unlike the moon-base commercial, it was actually funny).

Actually, the media presenting anthropomorphic animals does bug me. A bit.

Gillianren
2007-Feb-08, 09:46 PM
I think the whole thing was faked. If you look at the Invisible Pink Unicorn in the background She's in focus just like the foregroud objects. So unless they were using an extremely wide angle lens that type of shot is impossible.

Hey, watch Citizen Kane. A lot of things are in focus in the foreground with the background in focus as well. If you watch the commentary track with Roger Ebert, he mentions it every single time!

Amber Robot
2007-Feb-08, 10:38 PM
apparently there's those here who think commercials are suppose to be educational and true-to life.

No, but wouldn't it be nice if commercials didn't actively promulgate disinformation? And I think we can all agree that talking animals are in a different category.

Gillianren
2007-Feb-09, 12:41 AM
It's the difference between science fiction and fantasy, I suppose.

worzel
2007-Feb-09, 01:24 AM
The rumour was put around that it was actually filmed on the moon with help from NASA but a few rather clever HBers picked up on the shadow anomalies and called foul.

94z07
2007-Feb-09, 08:32 AM
Hey, watch Citizen Kane. A lot of things are in focus in the foreground with the background in focus as well. If you watch the commentary track with Roger Ebert, he mentions it every single time!

I've doubted the verasity of that film too (http://www.swlink.net/~tudorose/b2.htm). This one frame has always looked odd.

http://www.swlink.net/%7Etudorose/omn/knbrain.gif

Fazor
2007-Feb-09, 05:27 PM
No, but wouldn't it be nice if commercials didn't actively promulgate disinformation? And I think we can all agree that talking animals are in a different category.

It's just, I think if you have someone that says "meteors have trials even in the lack of atmoshpere, it's true because I saw it on a commercial" you have some bigger problems to deal with than "spreading of mis-information". I'm not saying said-mentioned scenario isn't real. Just saying the problem is not the ad agency, it's the person who believes what they see in a commercial. I have no problem with a tv commercial that says the sky is blue because yellow sunlight is reflected off of green grass. I have a problem with the people who believe such commericals without question.

Moose
2007-Feb-09, 06:25 PM
It's just, I think if you have someone that says "meteors have trials even in the lack of atmoshpere, it's true because I saw it on a commercial" you have some bigger problems to deal with than "spreading of mis-information".

We're already there, Fazor. Consider how many people believe 12 astronauts never walked on the moon just because they read it on a website or heard it from a FoaF? Consider how many people push their doctors to prescribe them medication just because they saw the commercial on TV? Consider how many people fall for the Nigerian scam just because they read it in an email?

The ignorance is getting so rampant that we're quickly getting to the point where anything that isn't actively part of the solution is part of the problem. We're not quite there yet, but active misinformation is definitely part of the problem. We, as a civilization, really don't need any more of that. Not when it's so easily avoidable.

WaxRubiks
2007-Feb-09, 06:31 PM
some kid might say to another kid "look, it cost them millions of dollars to make that advert, of course they did their research stupid!"

Fazor
2007-Feb-09, 07:18 PM
[QUOTE=Moose;922997]We're already there, Fazor. QUOTE]

I know, and that's the part I have the problem with. It's not "bad advertisement", it's bad reasoning skills. Remember all the "miracle cures" sold by traveling salesmen throughout the decades? Same thing.

worzel
2007-Feb-10, 07:00 PM
The ignorance is getting so rampant that we're quickly getting to the point where anything that isn't actively part of the solution is part of the problem.
Is ignorance really on the increase, though, or is it just our awareness of other's ignorance due to the Internet?

Moose
2007-Feb-10, 07:57 PM
Is ignorance really on the increase, though, or is it just our awareness of other's ignorance due to the Internet?

Well, there was plenty of ignorance before. What seems to have exponentially increased is "our" ability to propogate that ignorance.

PhantomWolf
2007-Feb-11, 10:31 PM
meteors have trials even in the lack of atmoshpere

As long as they get a good lawyer does the lack of an atmosphere matter?