Suck a Vile Vial

Ads for 5-Hour Energy are pervasive on Although internet commercials are a new phenomenon, I can confidently predict that these grating snake-oil pitches will rank among the Top Ten awful ads for years and years. These execrable exercises in mendacity are wrong on so many levels that I could write for hours and hardly scratch the surface.

In the first place, the product is basically the caffeine in an ordinary cup of coffee offered in a tiny vial of slime, “enhanced” with some B-vitamins and the nutrition you might find in an ordinary cookie. Instead of this miracle potion priced at $2.00 or more, just take a No-Doz or Vivarin with an Oreo and a shot of milk. Save yourself at least 75% of the cost. In a truly bizarre twist, the product is now being offered in de-caffeinated form at the same price. That’s like offering a car minus engine at the regular price. Talk about gas-mileage!

The worst commercial for this product is the one where a flaky cowboy wannabe talks a couple of schlemiels into tossing their biggie coffees over their shoulders, littering the countryside with their styrofoam cups. What a waste of presumably decent coffee! Even worse, they are desecrating the outdoors with their trash.

A fellow WordPress blogger thoroughly trashes the commercial where a female actor tries to sell the viewer on the idea that 73% of doctors would prescribe this bilge water to their patients. In “5-Minute Calculation” the pseudo science of the ad is well and truly debunked.

One point that Mirkwood did not make is the silliness of the claim that the doctors “said they would recommend a low-calorie energy supplements to their healthy patients who used energy supplements.” Why would it not be 100%? Of course a doctor would recommend a low-calorie energy supplement to healthy patients already using them. Would a doctor not recommend low-tar and low-nicotine cigarettes to patients who intend to keep smoking? That would not be a recommendation to smoke, it would be a recommendation to do something a little less stupid than smoking high-tar and high-nicotine cigarettes.

It is getting late here in the American Heartland, so I will wrap this up. Besides, I have not yet watched all the episodes of “Mongrels.” I want to see what Nelson and the gang are going to do next. For the pleasure, I will probably have to endure half a dozen revolting commercials. If repetitive advertising can truly influence behavior, at 3:00 a.m. I will probably shuffle off to the QuickeeMart to buy a 5-hour Energy decaf. Who knows? It might help me sleep.


John B. Payne, Attorney
Garrison LawHouse, PC
Dearborn, Michigan 313.563.4900
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 800.220.7200
©2012 John B. Payne, Attorney

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