Ad Watchdog: Toy Lightsaber Doesn’t Light Up, Commercial Is Misleading

lightsbaerAs far as we know, the Jedi are not real. Lightsabers are not real. For children, though, the lines between real life and fiction can get a little fuzzy. That’s why the ad industry’s self-regulation body is not impressed with Hasbro’s ad for an awesome double-bladed lightsaber, since it cuts footage of an animated character together with footage of a kid playing with the toy, which creates the impression that the toy lightsaber lights up. It doesn’t.

There are other “Star Wars” licensed lightsabers that do light up, and kids who are fans would probably know that, which is one possible point of confusion that the Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus points out.

We couldn’t find the 30-second version of the ad under question, but here’s a 15-second cut that has the major elements, including the animated Inquisitor character wielding his lighted saber.

While the actual toy in the ad doesn’t light up, every other lightsaber in the ad does. “child viewers could reasonably takeaway the message that the toy does light up,” CARU notes, since there’s only a brief disclaimer

CARU Recommends Hasbro Modify Advertising for ‘Inquisitor Lightsaber’ to Better Assure Viewers Understand Product’s Capabilities [ASRC]