Appeared in June 1994

Creative math, from Dr. Scholls


What in the hell's going on at the bottom of this ad, you ask?

Let's try to forget for just a moment that there's a skinny white guy standing here with a Sumo Wrestler on his shoulders, in an effort to sell us insoles.  Alone, this qualifies as a Dumb Ad, but let's delve further into what the heck their marketing department was thinking when they did this...


I was interested in the ad's claim that
"The average man puts
[9000 x 420 =
3,780,000 lbs.]
on his feet every day."

Well, I know no human weighs 4 million pounds, so where did they get these numbers? They must be talking additive weight. But even that's a stretch.

Assuming the "average man" weighs about 180, and has a 3-foot stride, that means

3,780,000 lb. / 180 lb. =
21,000 steps x 3 feet =
63,000 feet =
11.93 miles (19.2 km).

The average man walks 11.93 miles every day?

But how can you calculate things like this additively? That would be like saying I can run 100 miles, or jump a thousand feet, or drink a million pints of beer
( just not all at once.)


I know for a fact I can't drink more than 20 pints at once...


The icing on the cake is the fact that this ad appeared in Popular Science magazine...


Text content and original graphics c.2006 by T. Graff / All ad images and scans copyright their respective owners.