Thursday, February 21, 2013

StateFarm's ad men obviously skipped Logic 101

I'm not going to snark on the downright creepy Authoritative Male Voice coming out of the woman in this ad; if I wanted to focus on that, I'd use one of the Authoritative Male Voice Coming Out of the Kid ads, which are even creepier.

Instead, I'm going to focus on the painfully stupid non-logic at work in this crappy little nugget of a commercial, because as a teacher, it's so irritatingly familiar.

Several times a year, I'll give my class a piece of factual information like "the average American family has 2 children," only to get a response along the lines of "that's not true, Mr. Jamele- everyone in my neighborhood has at least four kids."  Or I'll mention that the average age of an American woman when she gets married is 24, and hear a chorus of "That's not true- my mom was 19 when she got married, and my sister was 20!"  Or I'll say "less than two percent of Americans are Orthodox Jews" and hear "Nuh-UHH, everyone I KNOW is Jewish!"  (Perhaps I should mention here than I teach at a private Orthodox Jewish school.)  Then I have to explain how statistics work, and what is meant by most people when they use the phrase "The Exception Proves the Rule."

Even though you are not one of my students, let me help you out here, Stupid StateFarm Woman Who Isn't Allowed to Speak for Herself for the entire ad:

According to statistics, men ON AVERAGE are safer drivers than women.*  The fact that you received a Safe Driving Bonus check does not disprove this statistic, because the claim is NOT "No women are Safe Drivers."  Actually, even that claim would not be disproved by this woman receiving a Safe Driving Bonus Check- the guy would have to say "No Woman has ever received a State Farm Safe Driver Bonus Check" for her little tantrum to be valid.

What makes this even more stupid is the fact that the guy is supposed to be SILENCED by this woman's bizarre non-answer.  Hmmm..maybe the next time one of my kids tells me that everyone who attends her shul is Jewish, I should apologize for saying that most Americans who attend religious services adhere to some form of Christianity and promise to review my sources.  Instead, I think I'll just refuse to adopt this childish little version of "Nuh-Uh 'cause I've got an anecdotal story which shows you are wrong" and stubbornly stick to the facts.

*I don't even know if this is true, and I don't assume it is because State Farm says so.   But come to think of it, I've been in two accidents that were my fault, and I know a woman who has been in three, so I guess this guy is right after all.  ;>)


  1. Ads like this remind us that Mark Twain was right to say that there are three kinds of falsehood, each worse than the last: lies, damned lies and statistics.

  2. Congratulations, you managed to go six months without rear ending anyone.

    No wonder she needs a man to speak for her.

    - james from