Never mind the magic of computer animation, mucus is a strange choice for a brand mascot—even if the brand happens to be Mucinex. Now for the latest: Mr. Mucus, the anthropomorphic snot ball who's been blubbering about the brand since 2004, has gotten a retouching in the latest spot—and he's slimier than ever. Mr. Mucus now has a decidedly more 3D appearance and looks, disturbingly, wetter as well.
Since Mucinex is classified as a chest congestion expectorant, maybe Mucinex was just doubling down on what works. After all, since RB, formerly known as Reckitt Benckiser, acquired the over-the-counter remedy in 2008, Mucinex has become the best-selling consumer health brand in the U.S. Its marketing, with the sticky Mr. Mucus and his evolving family, has doubtless played a major role in that. RB spent something to the tune of $50 million in media last year and nearly $100 million in 2012.
Still, it's clear that not everyone's a fan of the talking glob, which might explain why Mr. Mucus has just a cameo in the new spot. While the press release promises that "the character will come out into the real world and flaunt the many ways he provokes misery," he's pretty tame thus far. When it comes to mucus, perhaps a little is more than enough.
Social Media Profile (as of 12/3/14)
Sick doesn’t take a break. Why should we? Get 12-hour relief from chest congestion with Mucinex.
— Mucinex (@Mucinex) November 30, 2014
Mucinex doesn't have much to say on its two social profiles, just sentences that rhyme sometimes. It could be having a lot more fun on its Twitter handle if the brand let Mr. Mucus's new raspy voice—comedian TJ Miller of Silicon Valley fame—take it over and get weird with it.
It's not like the brand people don't know that Mr. Mucus rubs many people the wrong way. McCann New York's CCO Tom Murphy said the character is "one of the most recognized but least liked ad characters in the world." With his new, less guttural voice, Mr. Mucus is actually a bit easier to tolerate.
- Adults get an average of 2-3 colds a year.
- Americans spend some $40 billion a year on cold and flu remedies.
- Mr. Mucus recently survived McCann taking over creative duties, though the shop did give him a makeover.
- Mr. Mucus got hitched in 2005. Soon he'll be celebrating a decade of marriage.
- In 2006 Mucinex was rumored to be sending its snot ambassador to the big screen.