“Customer marketing. This is Judy.”

“Hi, Judy. Yes, uh, I’m calling about one of your television commercials and there’s a big mistake in it and I was hoping to relay that to somebody in the company.”

“There’s a mistake in it?”

“Yes. It’s the commercial that has the tagline ‘You can’t start the day without absolutely pure Tropicana Pure Premium.’ And it’s the two children on the front porch there, drinking the orange juice.”


“Well, here’s the problem with the commercial. And, frankly, I’m pretty concerned about it. As the sun rises and you see the two children sitting on the porch, the light actually comes from their feet and goes up, when, in reality, it would be the reverse. As the sun rises, the light hits taller objects first, and then it pans down, you understand. So the commercial is sort of violating the laws of nature.”

“Okay. Probably the person you want to talk to is our ad agency, Foote, Cone, and Belding. They are in New York and the number is [number expunged].”

- - -

“This is Rebecca.”

“Uh, Rebecca?”


“Hi. Yes. This is Tim from Dallas. You’re an account executive on the Tropicana account, yes? Uh, I’m calling with a problem about the commercial that’s, uh, that’s currently on the air.”

“Is it the straw commercial, where the little boy and the little girl are on the porch?”

“Exactly! Yeah, that’s the one. Now, uh, it’s an otherwise fine, fine commercial, but frankly I’m concerned because it has some problems with geometry and astronomy. I understand that the commercial, you know, isn’t supposed to mean, literally, that you can make heavenly bodies move by drinking orange juice.”

“I’m sorry. Where are you calling from again?”


“Dallas. From the Dallas office of Tropicana?”

“Oh, no, no, no.”

“You’re just a random person calling?”

“I’m a concerned chilled orange-juice consumer and, like, an amateur astronomer. Uh, so, if you look at the commercial, when the sun comes up and it shows the two children on the porch, the sunlight actually comes from their feet and rises up the frame, when, if you think about it, the opposite would happen.”


“See, because sunlight actually strikes taller objects first as it comes over the horizon.”


“So, I know in Kansas they’re trying to eradicate the theory of evolution from the text books, but, you know, the rest of us, I think, prefer to live in enlightened times.”

“And so … I don’t know how to handle your question.”

“Since you work on the account, I just wondered — I’m sure all that stuff is done with CGI nowadays. So it could be rectified. Because I’m sure you’re as concerned about the education of our children as I am.”

“I actually don’t work on that particular part of the business. If you want me to transfer to the account person that does, I’d be happy to.”

- - -

“Christopher Brown.”



“Hi, this is Tim from Dallas. Rebecca was kind enough to pass along your name to me. You’re working on the Tropicana account, yes?”


“There is a problem with the television commercial that is currently on the air and I mentioned it to Rebecca and she said you were the person to talk with.”

“Uh, okay. What kind of problem?”

“It’s the one with the two adorable children on the stoop, drinking the orange juice. Otherwise, that’s a fine commercial, except that [evaluation of commercial with respect to its misrepresentation of natural phenomena expunged].”


“And, frankly, just because Tropicana owns 41 percent of the market, you know, and is the top dog, doesn’t mean that they can play fast and loose with the laws of nature.”

“That is true. But that was not the intent. We aren’t necessarily teaching a message of science. We try to be accurate. I mean, I think it’s very possible that we made a mistake. I mean, it’s sort of a fantastical, magical kind of spot where a lot of reality is somewhat suspended.”

“Right. But I don’t see why the laws of physics should be violated to sell orange juice.”

“Well we didn’t necessarily intend to do that intentionally, sir.”

“I understand. I wouldn’t think you’d want to intentionally. And so that’s why I was calling, to bring it to your attention.”

“Well I appreciate that. One of the things I can do is mention to our people that, you know, if we can create a spot in the future, you know, we should —”

“Try to just operate according to the laws of physics and geometry.”

“It doesn’t bring anything to the commercial by breaking that law of physics, if you will.”

“Exactly my point. And, you know, we’re all concerned with what our children are learning these days, whether it’s in the movies or on TV, and we don’t want them getting the wrong idea about how things work.”

“No, that’s not the intention at all. I think that was just an oversight on our part. I do appreciate your bringing it to our attention.”

“Well, and I appreciate your hearing my concerns. And I look forward to enjoying many more Tropicana commercials in the future.”

“Well, good. Thank you for calling. We always like to have feedback.”

“Thank you very much, Christopher.”

“No problem.”