Vicks Chloraseptic Throat Spray
Agency D’arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York
Client Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati
Medium Consumer Print
Creative Directors Michelina Pagano, Palmer Davis
Art Director Eileen Karakashian
Copywriter Roseanne Rotenberg
Photography Peter Carter
Doesn’t this photograph give you the creeps? It will get attention, certainly, and it underscores the point that a sore throat can be terribly uncomfortable. But then, people know that already. The question is, does an image that makes you flinch also help you form a positive impression of the brand? While the headline speaks of “Fast, lasting relief,” those
conventional words are eclipsed by the unconventional photo. As such, the equation rattling around in the back of your mind is as likely to be: Chloraseptic=pins in throat. The ad’s depiction of the pain is so much more vivid than its claim of a remedy that the latter element gets lost in the shuffle. Meanwhile, some of us will have trouble shaking off the initial impression that the ad is proposing acupuncture as a sore-throat remedy.
Agency Team One Advertising, El Segundo, Calif.
Client Lexus Division Of Toyota Motor Sales Usa, Torrance, Calif.
Medium Consumer Print
Creative Directors Tom Cordner, Steve Levit
Art Director John Figone
Copywriter Greg Collins
Photography Michael Ruppert
There’s often a juvenile, cartoony undercurrent to car ads that emphasize power. Well there might be, since lots of putative grownups want to bomb around like overgrown adolescents. At the upper end of the market, though, they also want to give that desire a veneer of sophistication. With its Popeye ploy, this ad plays deftly to both impulses. One gets the point that this car is muscular: ” ‘I yam what I yam,’ said the ES 300’s new, more powerful VVT-i engine.” At the same time, by stating the matter in such explicitly cartoony terms, the ad gives an aura of ironic hipness to the desire for a car that can screech away from stoplights. There’s almost a Warholesque feel to the visual, with its repetition of a mundane image. And if the relentless pursuit of perfection can be restated as the relentless pursuit of leafy vegetables, the brand must not be as boringly mature as one might otherwise have thought.
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