Droga5 Clears Things Up for Clearasil

By Erik Oster 

Droga5 takes a humorous approach in its new campaign for Clearasil, its first work for the Reckitt Benckiser brand since picking up creative duties last May.

A 30-second broadcast spot, entitled “Interruption,” opens on a teenage boy named Stephen saying, “This pimple is going to last forever” into the mirror and receiving reassurance from a talking bottle of Clearasil that it won’t, since the fast-acting formula works within 12 hours. It also promises that acne won’t last forever, “…just like your mom won’t walk in on you forever.” This triggers a montage of Stephen’s mom walking in on him while looking at something she doesn’t approve of on his computer screen, making out with a girlfriend in the car, attending a lamaze class and giving a lecture on singularity (as Dr. Stephen), ending with the line “For now, let’s be clear, Clearasil works fast.”

While it retains the requisite graphic showing how the product helps clear acne, the spot breaks from the typical serious approach of the category while managing to tackle many of the same issues. It also stands in stark contrast to Droga5’s approach for the other Reckitt Benckiser it picked up last May. The agency’s “Home is in the Air” effort for Air Wick in December was decidedly more serious, which saw the agency and Air Wick recreating the smells of home for an American soldier stationed in Qatar. While not laugh out loud funny, the lighthearted humor of “Interruption” works well with its gentle reassurance that acne won’t last forever while presenting the brand as a fast-acting solution to the (temporary) problem. In addition to the broadcast spot, the campaign will be supported by digital, social, PR, point-of-sale and influencer marketing initiatives.

“Someone once said laughter is the best medicine. While we’re pretty sure they weren’t talking about acne commercials, we figured it was as good an excuse as any to try to make a humorous one,” Droga5 group creative director Tim Gordon told Adweek. “What teens really need is some reassurance and a laugh. Reassurance that acne isn’t going to last. Reassurance they’ll grow out of it. Reassurance they won’t need acne cream forever. Reassurance that one day they’ll be able to laugh at the volcanic zit they got just before prom.”



Client: Clearasil/Reckitt Benckiser
Brand Director: Deb Ebile
Brand Manager: Elyse Goldweitz
Campaign: Let’s Be Clear
Spot: “Interruption”
Agency: Droga5 New York
Creative Chairman: David Droga
Chief Creative Officer :Ted Royer
Group Creative Director: Tim Gordon
Senior Copywriter: Ryan Raab
Senior Art Director: Dan Kenneally
Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
Executive Producer: Adam Perloff
Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
Strategy Director: Will Davie
Senior Strategist: Danielle Travers
Senior Data Strategist: Lily Ng
Head of Communications Strategy: Colleen Leddy
Communications Strategist: Bryn Little
Social Strategy Director: Tom Hyde
Senior Social Strategist: Calvin Stowell
Social Manager: Maureen O’Brien
Group Account Director: Olivia Legere
Account Director: Megan Gokey
Account Manager: Ashton Atlas
Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
Director: Aaron Stoller
DOP: Bryan Newman
Executive Producer: Holly Vega
Producer: Mala Vasan
Editorial: Mackenzie Cutler
Editor: Erik Laroi
Assistant Editor: Brendan Hogan
Executive Producer: Sasha Hirschfeld
Postproduction: The Mission
Executive Producer: Mike Pardee
Producer: Ryan Meredith
Sound Design: The Ski Team
Sound Sound: Lounge
Mixer: Chris Afzal