Sunday, August 28, 2016

Koch Clean Water Ad

This highfalutin spot for Koch Industries begins with some scientist saying: "Two-thirds of our planet is covered in it, so why do nearly 800 million people suffer from lack of clean water around the world?"

The sentiment of wanting to solve this problem is nice and all, but the thing he says at the beginning of the spot is not true. He says two-thirds of the world is covered in clean water: it's not. He says: "covered in it", and then he reveals later in the sentence that: "it" is clean water. But most of the water covering our planet isn't clean water: it's salt water.

They spent tons of money on this, I'll bet, and they didn't bother to correct this guy's quote? There's no excuse for that kind of mistake. It's a simple idea being expressed, and they still managed to mangle it with misleading and dishonest wording. Nice going, guys.

All he had to do was say: "Two-thirds of our planet is covered with water, so why can't we get clean water to the nearly 800 million people who currently need it?" Or maybe just say: "water" twice in the sentence ("Two-thirds of our planet is covered in water, so why can't we get water to the nearly 800 million people who currently need it?") and then go into the bit about cleaning the polluted or salt water.

Advertising is the most expensive form of video medium per second, and it has the least amount of dialogue of anything short of a Road Runner cartoon. So it's especially important to get what little text there is correct and accurate and succinct and everything, right? Otherwise, all that money is wasted. (I mean, the Koch Brothers have plenty of money to waste, but my guess is they'd rather not waste any anyway.)

Here's the polluted pitch:

Am I being too nit-picky about this ad? Maybe so, but I don't think so.

When you only have a couple of sentences in a TV spot, the sentences should be word perfect. Ads like this cost a fortune, and with what's at stake for that cost, we really shouldn't have to give anyone the benefit of the doubt and say: "Well, he misspoke, but I think I know what he meant to say." They should just get it right, plain and simple.