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Reality Ensues / Advertising

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  • A literal example of Moving the Goalposts has Segata Sanshiro, while as a soccer goalie, get a "nice save" by physically moving the goalpost out of the way. He gets a red card for this.
  • Sprite's "Obey Your Thirst" campaign in The '90s was a series of commercials based around subverting and mocking the tropes of advertising by invoking this trope.
    • One of the most famous was the "Grant Hill Drinks Sprite" series of ads, which parodied Cereal-Induced Superpowers. In one of them, a kid spots NBA player Grant Hill drinking Sprite, and thinks Sprite will make him a basketball player... which he quickly disproves by drinking Sprite and then attempting a slam dunk, failing, and falling on his ass.
      Announcer: If you want to make it to the NBA... practice. If you want a refreshing drink, obey your thirst. Sprite.
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    • Another one has a group of kids talking about Hill's athletic prowess and offering various hypotheses for it (his Brazilian rubber sneakers, his lightweight shorts, his shaved head) before one mentions that he drinks Sprite... only to say that he's merely not thirsty anymore after drinking it.
    • Similarly, a bunch of young guys drive around in a convertible in slow motion, bouncing the car on its wheels to look cool. The car stops, one guy leaps out out of the car and goes to dramatically chug back his Sprite. When he turns the cap, the bottle explodes and covers him in soft-drink — because all that bouncing shook it up. He does not look cool while shrieking and dripping wet.
    • An even harsher one had a visibly preteen boy thinking that drinking Sprite would transform him into a professional wrestler. He then challenged WCW's Sting to a match — and was promptly battered from pillar to post.
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    • Sprite's "Sun Fizz" ad, in which a stereotypical juice ad plays out with mother and children getting excited over Sun Fizz. A cartoon Sun Fizz mascot jumps out of the carton and rattles off his part of the spiel... prompting the entire family to run screaming in terror from the cartoon sun that should not be, who promptly follows them.
    • A fake advertisement for a soft drink called Jooky ("the party in a can!") advertised it with images of people surfing, playing volleyball, and having fun on the beach, all to a faux-Caribbean jingle... before cutting back to show a pair of slackers watching the ad and popping open their cans of Jooky, all while a snowstorm rages outside. One of them accidentally breaks the tab off the can and is unable to open it. Alternately, "mine's busted" could be taken to mean "I'm still here freezing my rear end off in the frozen north".
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  • A depressing NSPCC ad had a man beating a cartoon kid for a while before throwing the kid down the stairs as we pan to see a genuinely unconscious kid on the floor and the caption "Real children don't bounce back".
  • A Dr. Pepper TV ad had two men moving a pinball machine down the stairs. A snapping noise is heard, and one of the guys is shown in pain. A doctor with a can of Dr. Pepper comes near the guy, complete with a Dubstep song. The guy seems happy until he resumes being hurt and is then shown about to let go of the machine, which would make the machine crash into the wall.
  • Reitmans had an ad campaign called "Designed in real life" that showed just how impractical the clothing worn on the runway by fashion models is for everyday situations. The fashion models ranged from oblivious to the mayhem they were causing to being the Butt-Monkey of whatever scene was going on to being stuck up before being forced to endure humiliation for her impractical clothing choice. In all cases, Hilarity Ensues.
  • A British NHS advert that ran in the late 2000s featured a crowd of people watching in awe as a Batman-esque superhero scaled a building scaffold dramatically and acrobatically to retrieve a lost balloon. When the hero reached the top, he slipped off of the pole on which is was precariously balanced and fell the entire height of the building. The audience is then treated to an unpleasant shot of the actually ordinary man, twitching blankly on the concrete floor as the narrator speaks the words "Too much alcohol makes you feel invincible when you're most vulnerable". It was an effective advert.
  • An advertisement by British phone and internet provider BT features Ryan Reynolds demonstrating the range of a BT router's wifi by hanging off a helicopter's skids as it flies up while holding a tablet. As soon as the helicopter takes off, Reynolds begins screaming in terror and begging the pilot to land, who just obliviously asks him if he has wifi.
  • A commercial for Big M (an Australian brand of flavoured milk) has a man walking along with a carton in his hand when he sees a piano roll out of a moving van and down the street, heading directly towards an old woman struggling to walk her dog. The man puts down his chocolate Big M and runs after it, jumping onto a passing garbage truck and then a motorbike to get between the woman and the piano. But when he turns and puts his arms out to stop the piano - it doesn't stop, taking him, the woman and, after a moment, the dog (pulled by its lead) with it. Cue the slogan: "Think Big! But not too big."
  • In this Conforama advertisement, a dad in one building watches a man in another fancily shake up a wine for his love. He tries the same for his family...with a bottle of soda.
  • Played for laughs in this GEICO commercial which showed real-life consequences of the Jack Be Nimble nursery rhyme. Jack knocks over the candlestick, setting his pants and his apartment on fire.
  • There was a series of PSA comic strips displayed in the Warsaw subway, warning about the potentially life-ruining consequences of stupid bravado. One of the ads depicted a stereotypical movie ninja who runs across a rooftop, leaps down into a hay cart... and the last panel shows him in a wheelchair.
  • This commercial for Kia shows that trying to be an "eco warrior" isn't as easy as it seems. (Still, Melissa does keep getting up...)
  • The reality of being damaged as a result of not wearing a seat belt wasn't a problem for crash test dummies Vince and Larry. After all, that was the message they were trying to show. However, they faced a new reality in 1990 when police - even Barney Fife - started cracking down and issuing tickets.
  • Cartoon Network advertisements sometimes show the realism behind certain cartoon gags:
    • "Rupert the Grouper" features a cartoon fish jumping out of a fishbowl and dancing along to its theme song...before suffocating to death halfway through as the short continues on around its corpse.
    • Another ad has a police officer chasing a thief into an alley. When he goes into the alley, he finds the thief now dressed in drag and trying to flirt with the officer. The officer isn't fooled and immediately arrests him. A caption then appears saying "You are not Bugs Bunny.''
      • This was part of an entire ad campaign promoting Cartoon Network's "Mil-Looney-Um" marathon where people act like Looney Tunes characters only to be met with realistic consequences. For example, another "You are not Bugs Bunny" ad saw the Duck Season, Rabbit Season routine backfire on a fired employee (see the page for that example), while another saw an Extraverted Nerd try to woo his female co-worker a la Pepé Le Pew, only to wind up with his head smashed into a copy machine.
  • This Skittles commercial shows that the concept of the 'Skittles Touch' is not nearly as awesome as one would think.
  • A series of New Zealand safety PSAs presented several people acting like they're in standard commercials by talking to the camera while walking or working...and not paying attention to where they're going or what they're doing, so they trip, slip and fall. HARD. They are NOT comical pratfalls; the impact makes it clear they have broken bones at the very least.


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