Hot Air, Helium, Huffing and Toys R Us

Once again, parents gripe to the media about a commercial instead of sitting down with their children and explaining things to them. Ad showing helium inhaling is criticized.

Watch the spot if you are a super adgrunt - the giraffe is not "sucking the helium". In the spot, he is in the basket of a hot air balloon, and when he raises his head to speak into a PA system, he is warned about the helium in the balloon, but it's too late - he starts talking in a helium voice. (Once again, it's a hot air balloon, but they stretch the logic a bit so that they can do the helium gag.)

Flawed as the concept for the commercial is, it is pretty obvious that Toys R Us is not promoting human helium intake, or breathing in any other form of gas, as some concerned and zealous parenting groups have insisted in their complaints to the media. If anything, it's playing with the fact that there are obstacles to being a talking anthropomorphic giraffe (with a really long neck) that lives in a world built for homo sapiens.

The primary dangers with breathing helium arise when helium is huffed out of a pressurized tank, not a balloon, but Toys R Us has responded to the complaints and the commercial is no longer running.

Related link: Huffing - DOC IN THE BOX