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    Posted December 30, 2009 by

    Challenging Special K


    I have always enjoyed Special K products.  I appreciated the availability of healthier items.  The Special K bars are truly my favorite!  In the past, Special K has appeared to promote healthy lifestyle changes through eating healthy and exercising.  Now, it seems as though this has changed. This morning, I saw one of their commercials that made me rethink my opinion of Special K.  The commercial to which I am referring features a mother “having tea” with her daughter. When the phone rings, she attempts to get out of the chair to answer it, but finds herself stuck.  My concerns with this commercial are twofold. This commercial promotes unhealthy body images and risks losing customers.

    The actress in the commercial is not overweight.  This commercial attempts to attack even the most ordinary body shapes in order to reach the minds of even more people so they will want to buy Special K products.  This is not a new problem; however, the size of the actress suggests that the company is targeting people who are in a healthy body weight range.  My second concern focuses on the problem presented in the commercial: the actress becomes stuck in a child’s chair.  This is absurd. Children’s chairs are made for CHILDREN, indicating that the average adult is not supposed to fit in them properly, unless he or she is the size of a child for some reason.  This commercial sends the message that adult women are supposed to be the size of a child, the idea of which sends chills down my spine.  The size of an average adult should not be that tiny.  It is extremely unhealthy!

    This commercial will also change the way that people see the company of Special K.  This commercial blatantly states that Special K is willing to air any commercial while disregarding its message, if the company believes that the commercial will increase product sells.  I do not want to financially contribute to a company that tolerates such behavior.  Other viewers who pay attention will follow suit, eventually leading to a decrease in sells and profit.  Risking profits is never a smart decision, and its consequences may be more crucial during an economic downturn. 

    My concerns may seem inconsequential, but this would be a critical mistake.  Airing commercials have consequences; otherwise companies would not bother investing time and money into producing and airing them.  Commercials have consequences for the featured business, as well as society.  This commercial will affect the way that people view the world, themselves, and their fellow humans.  They will begin to believe that any adult who is not small enough to fit into a child’s chair is overweight and needs to lose weight.  While the intention of the commercial may be to incite people to purchase Special K products, this could lead people to other risky forms of weight loss, such as food disorders, skipping meals, and intentionally consuming tapeworms, to name a few. 

    Special K challenges people to lose weight by consuming Special K products.  I am challenging Special K, along with any other advertising company, to be more responsible for the consequences of its actions.  It may be too late to stop the airing of this offensive commercial, but future commercials should receive more thought and planning.  I implore the company to seriously critique the message of its commercials before airing them to the nation.  Will you accept the challenge as so many people have accepted yours?

    Finally, I am challenging you to be more aware of what you are watching. Do not idly sit in front of the television, soaking in everything that it shows.  Think about it. Critique it. Ask yourself what this commercial is trying to tell you and how you feel about it. Do not allow big corporations to alter your opinions, mind-set, or world view so that they can make a profit. You are worth more than that.

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