Turns out we’re not alone in our fascination with disgusting ad icons. We’ve shone our flashlight on Mr. Mucus, Polyp Man and Mr. Floatie. Now, in his State of the Union column, Eric Ratinoff brings his wily critical talents to bear on a bloated, ruddy specimen known as the Eczema Beast, icon for Fujisawa Healthcare’s eczema treatment, Protopic. “The Eczema Beast, if you’ve not yet met him, is a pink monster that looks like Grimace’s misshapen younger brother—but instead of giving you fries and Shamrock Shakes, he gives you eczema,” Ratinoff explains. Alternately drawn to and repelled by the sad, itchy beast, Ratinoff declares that ad icons like this one “play on our fears, and they dumb us down”—but at the same time he can’t wait to get his hands on the plush Eczema Beast doll (shown here), available on the Protopic Web site. See, that’s the thing about these grosser-than-gross ad characters: One way or another, they get under your skin.
—Posted by Tim Nudd