Friday, September 20, 2019

Snake Oil: Things that made me go hmmm...

Snake Oil posts are typically reserved for comments on advertising. I could write about the controversial Libra television ads showing menstrual blood, but I want to stretch the Snake Oil mission statement a little to talk about things which made me go hmmm over the last week.

Image result for jetstar dreamlinerA Bali bound Jetstar flight was flying over Darwin, halfway to its destination, when the pilot noticed a crack in the cockpit window. He chucked a mid air U-turn and returned to Melbourne. When I heard this story, my first thought was that the pilot was correct to want to get the plane on the ground. My second thought was why didn't he land the puppy in Darwin? The flight was halfway to Bali, but he took them all the way back to the airport of origin.

Image result for rexona aerosol deodorantJournalism is famous for hyperbole, so I took the radio news announcement that there was a chroming epidemic in Queensland with a grain of salt. Rexona spray deodorant was named as the number one choice of chromers and apparently there are empty cans everywhere. In store theft of the product is rife so managers have removed it from the shelves. It's still on sale, but you have to ask for it. Rexona's response was to announce it would enlarge the warning signs on the cans. My thought: People who sniff aerosol cans to get high do not read labels, but sure Rexona, give that a crack.

Image result for ashes cricket fifth testAustralia took a 2-1lead into the fifth match of the Ashes series. The reaction of the selectors to us winning the fourth match easily was to change the team. Retaining our worst performing batsmen, but dumping our vice captain. He was replaced by an all rounder with a poor test record whose inclusion gave us two identical bowlers. Left handed deadly weapon Starc was overlooked, as was the aggressive speedster, Pattinson. Having made unnecessary changes to the team, we then elected to bowl first after winning the toss, and got smashed by over a hundred runs.

What binds these three stories together is two things. Firstly, my reaction. Mystified. Bamboozled. Secondly, the dearth of information which fueled my bewilderment. Jetstar and Rexona were just short news stories. Reporting on the Rexona chroming epidemic was over the top, but the point is I don't know anything other than what I've told you. Based on very little information, I was left shaking my head and feeling confident that I would handle things better...or at least differently.

I subsequently investigated both issues a little and found out in the case of the Jetstar incident, the pilot had good reason for travelling all the way back to Melbourne. Melbourne is where they are able to fix the windscreen most quickly because its' the airline's repair hub. 

The point is there is always more to the story: the story on the news, the gossip in your ears, the picture before your eyes.

The cricket is a different story. The selectors are mad, our captain made the wrong decision at the toss, and we lost because the game was not important. On this issue I can speak with some authority because I've been watching cricket for over forty years.

No comments:

Post a Comment