Monday, November 24, 2014

It's Weird Even If It Works

Beer companies are notorious for using logical fallacy in their commercials, and Bud Light tried to exploit the superstition and passion of footballs fans with a commercial entitled "Very Superstitious". The commercial focuses on football fans doing outlandish rituals that supposedly help their teams win.

This commercial takes advantage of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, which falsely attributes a result to an action after the fact. Many superstitions are created by this fallacy, as it is easy to forget the times that a superstition did not work. Just because something occurred before a team won the game, does not mean that the action in any way influenced the outcome of the game.

Bud Light ends their commercial with the line, "It's only weird if it doesn't work". This sentence is a strong example of the post hoc fallacy: just because you did something crazy does not indicate a correlation with the outcome of an unrelated sports event. Bud Light tries to convince viewers that Bud Light will help their team win because their team won after they drank Bud Light. Many of the scenes in the commercial show people using beer cans as part of their superstitions, and drinking beer both before and after their favorite teams score or win, appealing to positive feelings.

Bud Light tries to associate the feeling of victory with Bud Light, and applies the ad populum fallacy to convey the message that everyone is supporting their team by drinking Bud Light. By showing so many people as successful when they use superstitions, Bud Light makes the claim that superstitions must help a team win.

Even though the commercial employs fallacy to convince viewers that they should drink Bud Light beer, the commercial still succeeds because it is persuasive. It uses energetic recognizable music and displays sports logos, which create emotion and passion in viewers. I think that this ad, like many advertisements, takes advantage of the viewer's emotion and exploits the fact that the viewer is not paying close attention to the logic behind the ad. Whether this is a good practice or not remains to be seen.

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