Frankly, I’m not a fan of energy drinks in the first place. I encounter enough bad behaviors on the road and elsewhere that I don’t see a caffeine-fueled boost as a good thing. But it is a current TV spot for 5-hour Energy that has me most annoyed. It is, at a minimum, deceptive, and in my view, deliberately misleading.
In the spot, an authoritative young woman sits next a large pile of what are supposed to be, of course, “official” reports. And in a transparent attempt to wrap 5 hour Energy in a “doctor-approved” aura, the copy references a survey of 3,oo0 doctors and reports that “over 73% said they would recommend a low calorie energy supplement to their healthy patients who use energy supplements.”
I don’t doubt that that is true. I would also predict that those 3,000 doctors would recommend small firecrackers in the ear to their patients who insist on sticking firecrackers in their ears. Not quite the same as recommending the activity.
I suppose most people only “half listen” to commercials. It seems that 5-hour Energy is banking on that fact, hoping viewers won’t realize that this is about nothing but calories, and all those doctors really said, in effect, was “If you MUST use one, pick a low calorie one, at least.” Some endorsement.
Come on, 5-hour. Go ahead and use your riveting pro golfer testimonial, or those other commercials that show tired workers using the product as a performance-enhancing substance. I”ll even tolerate the ones that pretend morning coffee is ONLY about the caffeine jolt, more efficiently replaced by knocking back a bottle of 5-hour and getting on your way. (Not true, of course – we enjoy drinking coffee.) But get rid of this phony “doctor” spin attempt.
Many 5-hour Energy commercials open by asking “how long is that cup of coffee going to last? 45 minutes? An hour? ” My response to that is “maybe. But at least Starbucks didn’t have to trick me into buying it.”