That Commercial Made My Daughter Cry

When I came downstairs from my nap-with-Teyla yesterday (a regular afternoon happening lately, for which this 36-week-preggo is thankful), I found my two older kids quietly playing with Legos and watching an episode of "America's Funniest Videos" we had DVR'd.

Two minutes later, as I was putzing in the kitchen, I heard Natalie start to wail. As in sackcloth-and-ashes Middle Eastern-type wail. I turned around and saw my sweet eight-year-old with bright red eyes and tears streaming down her cheeks.

"That commercial made me cry," she sobbed and threw her head into a pillow.

Want to guess which commercial it was?



First, I'd like to say if it was me crying at a commercial, I would be crying at one of those super-creepy Burger King king commercials. Seriously. Those are a horror move in the making.

But Natalie's not me. And Misti guessed it. Natalie was crying at the Sarah McLachlan SPCA commercial, which is Exhibit A in manipulative fundraising.

I'm going to resist a rant here, but appeals like that steam me. They are designed to make people feel guilty and sad and pathetic that they haven't fed their fish today. I have no problem with nonprofits raising money and awareness; that's the whole point of Corey's job, to facilitate that kind of transaction. But there is a respectful way to do it and an oh-so-wrong-way to do it. Nonprofits that feel the need to resort to pictures of abused, caged animals or children with horrible birth defects do not deserve money or attention. They are exploitative.

And yes, as Mocha with Linda pointed out, Natalie does have a tender heart, especially when it comes to animals. Last night, when she overheard me telling Corey about The Incident, she put her hands over her ears, teared up and said, "Mom! Please don't talk about it!"


Maybe Sarah McLachlan can make a commercial about the kids the SPCA has traumatized under the guise of awareness.


  1. That British seatbelt commercial makes ME cry, but I don't know what commercials might make your 8 year old cry. Hmmm.

  2. The one where all of the Minnesota teachers tell us that our schools (and children) will fail if we don't give them more money?


  3. I have no idea. But what a sweet tender heart she has!

  4. Don't watch regular TV, so I have no idea whatsoever. You're so mean to leave us hanging!

    And I thought when people recorded programs, they left out the commercials? Or is that just TiVo? Is TiVo different than DVR?

    Listen to me - I sound as though I live on Mars.

  5. The Humane Society (or is it ASPCA?) one with the Sarah McLaughlin song playing? So sad.

  6. The only commercials I've watched recently have been in the context of an online survey site. Sad but true.

    I'm interested to find out now though!

  7. You are really gonna leave us hanging on this one???? :-)

  8. Oh. That's Heather of the EO. I keep doing that...forgetting to re-login or whatever.


  9. That commercial goes from making me sob to making me ill. I agree with you completely. I was an advertising major in undergrad, and loathe advertising that uses those type of images or fear (think alarm system commercials) to motivate people - it's just slimey, if not unethical.

  10. Ah ha...

    Yeah, totally agree. I always turn the channel when any of those commercials come on. Same reasons. Sadly, I might support some of these causes if they didn't use these tactics.

  11. My 7 year old can't watch it either and it was refreshing to read this and know I'm not the only one who feels this way (right down to the BK commercials). Sadly, we can shut the TV off, bit we can't shut it off from playing over and over again in their heads.

  12. I can't even listen to Sarah McLachlan's music anymore without getting disgusted. Which is a pity, because I always liked her.

    I was that kid with the tender super-tender heart—I used to cry whenever there was a little kid on the tv who was crying, because I hated seeing other people sad. Which might be one reason why we hardly ever watched tv ...

    So I sympathize with Natalie. Darn commercials!

  13. Oh how I agree! Nothing irritates me quite at much as manipulative advertising. So glad you put it into words so I know I'm not the only one that cringes a little everytime I see commercials or ads like this one.

  14. My kids are still addicted to the commercial free channel. Which makes me OH SO HAPPY. Because the rest of their life they will be subjected to manipulation of all kinds.

  15. I agree with you, Kelly. That commerical drives me crazy for a number of reasons.

  16. I don't like animals being neglected and abused yada yada.

    But I also know that every person has a limited amount of time and resources. So when a celeb uses her time, resources and name to help abused animals instead of helping, oh, I don't know, maybe ABUSED CHILDREN, I lose a lot of respect for them.

    Tedd Tripp spoke once about how plays a game with his kids when commercials come on called "Where's the Lie." I am actually looking forward to playing that when my kids are older.

  17. I change the channel. Every time. Because, you're right, these kind of organizations don't deserve our donations. So SAD for your sweet girlies!