Commercial Break: The Special K Challenge of Extreme Caloric Restriction   Leave a comment

Broadcast: 31 August 2012
Program: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Channel: NBC
Conglomerate: Comcast

Advertiser: Special K
Owned By: Kellogg
Product: A bunch of food type substances

Our tale today opens in a nameless but stylish clothing store where a prosperous and ethnically ambiguous woman is looking at blue jeans:

Disposable Income, USA

Not Pictured: Sullen clerks and garish discount signs.

With an upbeat female choir and peppy piano music in the background, she flips through jeans with uplifting statements on them instead of sizes:

Pep Talk Jeans

The jeans that say “Mopey Fat Ass” were sold out.

While our achievably modern heroine looks at all these self-reinforcing pants options, the female narration comes on and says:

Wouldn’t it be nice if we focused on less on the number, and more on how the fit makes us feel?  Take the Special K challenge.  Drop a jean size in two weeks and slip into size sassy.

As this obvious contradiction (“drop a jean size” occurs just thirteen words after “focused less on the number”) is being said, the choir is chanting “all my ladies got pride today” and the actress (who would hardly look overweight if you stood her next to a mannequin) is doing her best commercial-food-orgasm-face:

Special K-gasm

This cereal feels amazing on my clit!

This is also where the fine print comes in, and even by the big lie standards of small print, this contains some whoppers:

Starve Yourself Thin

It reads:

Consult your physician before starting any diet or exercise program.  Average waist circumference reduction when replacing meals with two cereal meals is 1.3 inches.  Weight loss may vary.

There is so much bullshit in there that we’re going to have to break it up to see how bad it actually is:

Consult your physician before starting any diet or exercise program.

The thing we want you to do?  It’s dangerous enough that we can’t legally recommend that you do it.  Also, the commercial makes no other mention of exercise, strongly implying that just eating their crap will allow you lose that jean size they don’t want you to think of as a number, but which is obviously still a number.

Average waist circumference reduction when replacing meals with two cereal meals

Holy shit!  For you to achieve the wonderful results that the “you go girl” soundtrack is making out to be as easy as slipping on a pair of pants, you have to replace two thirds of your meals with their products.  That’s not a “diet” or even a “crash diet”, that’s a “crash and burn and stare at the wreckage diet”. 

is 1.3 inches. 

There’s another one of those pesky numbers, which they’ve got measured down to tenths of an inch because the enormous (and probably traumatic) caloric reduction they’re advocating won’t actually do that much.

Weight loss may vary.

Yeah, I’ll bet it may.  If you really want to learn more you can do what the ad suggests and “get started” at, but I wouldn’t recommend it.  The meal plan their website suggested, without ever asking me for information about my age, weight, height, level of physical activity, or current health, would be considered cruel and unusual punishment if you fed it to convicts:

Prison Rations Are More Generous Than This

There’s a calorie count for each of the five entries, and adding them together yields a recommended daily intake of just 1,243 calories.  Just how little food is that?  It’s about what the government recommends for six-year-olds who are “sedentary”. 

The Special K Challenge: We Think You’re a Six-Year Old.  Prove us right. 

Posted September 3, 2012 by Charlie Sweatpants in Commercial Break

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