The advertising agencies who produce public service announcements are good at the technicalities of voicing and scripting, but they lack basic ordinary knowledge, which means many PSAs are useless.
Example 1: "You're familiar with the smell of rotten eggs. Well, something else smells like rotten eggs. Natural gas. When you smell rotten eggs around your house, it probably means you have a gas leak. Get out immediately, don't turn any switches, etc....."
This is backwards. Rotten eggs are not the familiar side of the comparison! I've been eating eggs for 56 years, cooking them for 40 years, and I've never
encountered a rotten egg. Not once. But everyone who cooks with natural gas -- i.e. everyone who needs this warning -- is thoroughly
familiar with the smell of natural gas. You get a slight sniff every time you turn on a burner, before the pilot flame gets sucked through the little tube to ignite the burner. In short, the whole analogy is backwards. When I try to imagine what rotten eggs might smell like, I use the smell of natural gas (or more precisely the mercaptan "perfume") as the template.
Example 2: "Tom lives in Kansas. He knows a tornado is coming, so he's boarding up the windows. Mary lives in Virginia. She's never seen a tornado, but her Red Cross contribution will help Tom pick up the pieces."
Not backwards, but still ridiculous. People in Florida board up windows before hurricanes. Nobody, and I do mean EXACTLY NOBODY
, boards up windows before a tornado. (a) You don't have time. At best you have just enough time to reach the basement and pray. (b) If the twister actually hits your house, everything above ground will be GONE, including the boards over the windows. It's nothing like the typical hurricane that gives you three days warning, then breaks windows and takes down some trees but leaves most structures standing.
The only message I derive from this ad is that the Red Cross knows nothing about tornados. Not true, but that's the impression.