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As I’ve been watching the olympics over the last few days (go Team USA!), I’ve been impressed by quite a few commercials. Specifically, Proctor & Gamble, Nike and AT&T (you can see some of the commercials over at Forbes.com). Visa’s use of Morgan Freeman is pretty good as well, just not as imaginative.

However, the ad above from 5 Hour Energy left me dumbfounded, but not in the way the ad team had hoped. The ad insinuates or gives the impression that 73% of doctors surveyed recommended 5 Hour Energy.

But that isn’t the case at all.

The problem comes from connecting two statements that aren’t actually connected:

  1. Doctors recommend low-calorie energy supplements for those already taking supplements.
  2. 5 Hour Energy is a low-calorie energy supplement.

Suggested Conclusion: Doctors must recommend 5 Hour Energy.

Paying attention, the ad is actually saying that 73% of doctors said that if you are going to take an energy supplement anyways, then they recommend a low-calorie supplement.

At no point are the doctors advocating energy drinks. And at no point do they support consuming 5 Hour Energy.

The ad is technically not deceptive, but certainly seeks to deceive if you don’t pay close attention.

Personally, I’m hoping that the collective intelligence of the American viewer isn’t fooled.

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