"...I get the feeling of 'I did something!' it must be the same feeling an idiot gets when the words 'DO NOT ATTEMPT' appear on his television.
The ad shows a man walking out of his house, diving off a cliff, and parachuting into his car.
At the bottom of the screen? "Do Not Attempt." Often co-starring with the world's favorite disclaimer: "Dramatization
". Ads for cars or automotive products will often elaborate on this with "Professional driver on a closed course".
Usually the disclaimer for these is pretty clearly tongue-in-cheek.
Compare Don't Try This at Home
, which differs from this trope in that it is about fundamentally real
if dangerous stunts, whereas this trope concerns activities that are usually enhanced by editing and effects for a particular look and which are not necessarily "real" no matter how much so they appear (driving your SUV underwater, towing a tractor trailer with your pickup.) Also compare Do Not Do This Cool Thing
, when a warning rings hollow.
- The classic Saturday Night Live commercial parody "Happy Fun Ball" spoofed this trope by offering "the toy sensation that's sweeping the nation!". The bulk of the "commercial" was then spent disclosing increasingly strange and worrisome information, including a caution that if the core was exposed the active ingredients should not be "touched, inhaled, or looked at", as well as giving the famous warning "Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball!"
- It was subsequently parodied in DCTV's "Happy Red Matter Ball" sketch.
- One car commercial shows the vehicle in question is blasted out of the top of a volcano. Sure enough, at the bottom of the screen are the words "Do not Attempt".
- There's also one where the car goes crowdsurfing at a concert and the disclaimer says, "Always Drive On Roads, Never On People."
- The commercial described in the first non-quoted line in this article ("The ad shows a man...") actually exists. It's a Land Rover commercial.
- The TV commercial for the video game Rock Band had a CGI sequence showing a band playing a song while on top of a moving car that was going at a high rate of speed, and then proceeding to jump off the car onto a nearby RV also moving at a high rate of speed, all while the words DO NOT ATTEMPT stayed at the bottom of the screen.
- One line of commercials for Denny's restaurants had people performing stupid stunts, like trying to throw a cow or a human slingshot. At the bottom it reads, in the usual tiny white text, "Do not attempt, professional idiots".
- There was an Emerald Nuts ad which implied a woman burned down a building, and at the bottom it said "Do not commit arson. Not even once."
- One commercial that consists of a woman buying a new, state-of-the-art washing machine, and fantasizing about what to do with the old one. The ad shows such ridiculous stunts as rolling over it with a steamroller and launching it with an old medieval mangonel (catapult). Ayup, the words "do not attempt" were prominent. "Kids, don't take mommy and daddy's ancient siege engines and launch appliances..."
- There's recent ad for yogurt where the woman is in the grocery store and has several individual containers of yogurt in her cart. She looks at them, glances around surreptitiously, and then sticks a carton up to her mouth and slurps it all down. In the tiny white fine print at the bottom of the screen it says "Please Pay For All Items."
- One commercial with a bunch of physics defying CGI said at the bottom: Animated Drive On Closed Course Do Not Attempt.
- In the Omake chapter of Umineko no Naku Koro ni, "The Stakes Valentine's Day" has Ronove, the Demon Butler, baking Valentine's Day Chocolate. He suggests adding the seed of devil's trumpet and the blossom of angel's trumpet. At which point, to his mild amusement, the writers warn the viewers in green text that these things are poisonous to humans.
- There's a commercial for Secret brand women's deodorant in which a woman dives off a balcony in lingerie and straight into her black dress, in a greatly exaggerated demonstration of the lengths some women supposedly go to in order to avoid white streaks on dark clothing from rival deodorant brands. The fine print at the bottom of the screen advised, "Dramatization. Do Not Attempt".
- There's a car commercial from the mid- to late '90s in which several cars are driving on the beach and then out onto the sea. (Yes, you read that right, "onto".) At the bottom of the screen were the words "Simulation. Do not drive on the ocean." (Again: on, not in.)
- In one chapter of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, the titular disciple is being trained to deflect blades by practicing with fluorescent lights, with his masters reasoning that a strike that would break a light against him is equal to a sword strike that would deliver a deadly wound. Included in the first panel where he gets a light broken over his head: "(Note) This is done under the guidance of masters. It's dangerous. Never ever should you attempt this." And in the next panel (where he's getting hit again): "(Note) Seriously, don't do it."
- Similarly, several incidents in the Hayate the Combat Butler manga have included the disclaimer, "Good boys and girls should never do this."
- Every episode of the Cromartie High School anime adaptation began with a scene of the protagonist alone in a jail cell, with a warning that imitating the show's antics would net one a similar fate.
- Another non-advertising example: Aerosmith's Amazing music video has as its core concept two young lovers enjoying a virtual reality rendezvous. This includes the woman riding on the back of a motorcycle being driven by the man. Soon enough, the former party climbs around the still-moving motorcycle to straddle her partner face-to-face, removes both of their helmets and commences high-speed coitus. This actually aired on MTV with no disclaimer for a couple of weeks before the scene was almost completely obscured by a giant blinking message reading "ONLY SAFE IN CYBERSPACE".
- A recent Mercedes-Benz C-Class commercial lampshades this, featuring attorneys in the desert reading off the usual "professional driver on a closed course" and "always drive responsibly" disclaimers while getting dust blown in their faces from the unsafe driving going on around them.
- A commercial for a new medicine for kids ten-and-under with ADHD included this warning: "do not drive or operate heavy machinery while using this medicine".
- In Italy there are commercials for McDonald's's McDrive service featuring people going to the McDrive by transforming their sofas into cars, with the disclaimer: "Professional Actors. Do Not Attempt". How could I?
- Two ladies are hiking in the woods, and cross a stream. Upon reaching the other side, a Jeep Grand Cherokee drives out of the now-revealed-to-be-deep river. "Not designed for underwater driving."
- A UK commercial for Kelloggs' Crunchy Nut depicted a man so desperate to enjoy a bowl of the cereal that he climbed onto and rode his dog to avoid a traffic jam. After about a week of airing un-subbed, text along the bottom appeared proclaiming "DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME WITH YOUR DOG".
- An advertisement for a Rexona deodorant emphasizes how much you move without realizing it and more importantly, how movement makes the deodorant smell better. To illustrate this they have a woman rollerblading on a heavily trafficked road somewhere while it says "Do not attempt" in the lower right corner.
- A commercial for a vacuum cleaner showed a woman vacuuming in large, dramatic motions. At the bottom of the screen in tiny text were the words "Professional Cleaner on Closed Carpet".
- The older commercials for the telecommunications company Vonage featured people doing Jackass-style stupid things, followed by a text that said. "People do stupid things. Paying too much for phone service shouldn't be one of them." They always had a Do Not Attempt disclaimer at the bottom of the screen. Vonage is still around, but they have since replaced these with more...mature and reserved commercials.
- A 2012 commercial for a Ford showed the car demonstrating its futuristic tech by taking to the air. Across the bottom of the screen read the disclaimer "Closed airspace. Professional pilot. Seriously, cars cannot fly."
- A particularly nasty version ran as part of an Australian anti-smoking campaign. Basically, it was showing a mixture of various poisonous chemicals, but in one instance they were drunk (and then exhaled as cigarette smoke). The other variant was only slightly nicer and simply had the chemicals in a blender.
- There's a Nissan ad that shows the car jumping from a ramp to the top of a moving commuter train. The warning reads "Do not attempt. Cars cannot drive on trains."
- And once the car was OFF of the train, and just pulling into a parking lot, it changed to "Still professional driver on a closed course."
- A Snickers commercial that had a bunch of guys riding ATVs and goofing off with Godzilla (who's suddenly only a bit larger than human-sized) displayed this warning. Then again, driving around in a hot desert in a rubber monster costume would be unhealthy.