The old commercials for Dow Bathroom Cleaner showed anthropomorphic animated bubbles emerging from the bottle and scrubbing a bathroom (the "Scrubbing Bubbles"). I believed that was literally what would happen if we bought the product, so I begged my mom to buy some. I was extremely disappointed.
When I was a kid I remember seeing some kind of PSA (which I'm now sure I must have completely misunderstood, given how my interpretation makes no sense) that said something like "if a kid doesn't know what he wants to do for a job by the time he's 14, he's screwed" (not in those exact words, obviously). As I was 12 or 13 at the time and had no idea what I wanted to do for a living, I was rather scared.
When I was a child I used to believe that characters in movies, commercials, or television shows were showing real stories. Also, I used to believe that a person was following people to film them.
When I was a child I used to believe that the actors on the tv commercials, moved to the place in order to act at the same time on the tv chanel.
When I was about 5, I saw a Daisy sour cream commercial saying something like “four generations of the family will enjoy this”. Because I saw four people at the table, I was convinced that “generations” meant “members”. I learned otherwise when I said there would be four generations eating when it was really just me, my brother, and my parents.
Two beliefs, both involving banner ads.
When I was eight, I saw ads for the then-new streaming service Now TV. The ads said "Now Showing" above an image of a movie. I took this to mean that you could ONLY watch the movie shown and literally nothing else on there, and it got replaced with a different movie once a week or so.
Around the same time, I saw an ad with a photo of a little girl and a tagline that was something along the lines of "Lift up her voice. Lift up her life. Give someone else/a(n abused) child/whatever (memories are hazy) a voice. Yours." I took the tagline literally and thought the girl was mute and the ad was for a service that allowed you to literally give a mute child your voice. I wondered why someone would want to just give up their voice like that, even if it was for a commendable reason (even though I now know voice box transplants are actually possible)! It was only when I saw the ad again a few years later that I realised it was actually for a child abuse charity.
I believed that if I ate Ready Brek, I'd glow like in the TV ad.
I used to believe the person who talked in the adverts on the radio stayed all the day in a cabin, and stay stand up all the time and wayting for the time to speak.
In the Slinky commercial jingle, " A slinky, a slinky, it's fun for a girl and a boy", my dad thought he could only play with a slinky with a girl because he thought it literally and he didn't have a sister, but he played with one anyways, even alone.
When I was a kid, I saw a TV commercial advertising a place that was having a "liquidation sale" because it was going out of business. I had never heard that term before; I thought that it meant whatever merchandise was left unsold at the end of the going-out-of-business sale, they would take and melt down. (You know...liquidate!)
I figured it was some sort of marketing gimmick to coax people into coming to the sale and buying things - nobody wants to see so much stuff go to waste like that, after all. This all made perfect sense to me.
Avon commercials used the slogan "Avon, you've never looked so good". Meaning you will better than ever if you use Avon. I thought it meant "you never look very good so put this make-up on"
I used to see a lot of ads for religious counseling lines on one of the TV channels I watched as a kid. I somehow misunderstood these as offering a hotline directly to God. Not being particularly religious, I assumed these were some kind of scam in which there would be someone on the other line who would pretend to be God. I thought it very silly that people were taken in by what I thought was a very transparent hoax.
I used to believe that Gustavo Dudamel's (principal conductor of LA philharmonic) name was La Phil because all the advertisements for LA philharmonic said "La Phil", with a picture a Gustavo Dudemal conducting. Fortunately, I only believed this for about 4 years until my brother told me that the conductors name was Gustavo Dudamel, not La Phil.
I used to believe the eagle's wing in the Nationwide logo was a human rib cage. I thought it was a literal illustration of their slogan, "Nationwide is on your side."
My mom told me that "commercials lie." When I was five or so, I noticed that the laundry detergent that we used was one that I had seen a commercial for. Since the commercial said that it was a good detergent and cleaned clothes, I was sure that this was a lie and I tried to get my mom to throw it out.
When commercials for medicines said if you were nursing or pregnant you should not take that medicine, I would always get scared that my mom would die because she couldn't take any medicines since she was a nurse.
From the time I was about 3 till I was (embarrassingly enough) about 16 or so, I thought that the Bavarian lady on the logo of the Schneider's Meats company had gigantic ears, when it was in fact the sides of the bonnet she was wearing. For some reason I never questioned why she would have huge freakish ears. I guess I'm a person accepting of differences?
I used to believe women were not allowed eat yorkie bars
When I was a kid I watched this vacuum commercial where there was a tornado, and this lady got her vacuum cleaner and sucked up the tornado. So when I was little I used to ask my parents "Why don't they just suck the tornado up with a vacuum cleaner?"
When I was a kid there was a commercial for BP that ending with the words "on the move". For some reason I thought it said "on the moon" and thought it was a weird thing to say as why would you they put a gas station on the moon? ;)