Dulcolax, McCann Health Make 2014’s ‘Crappiest’ Ad to Date

By Shawn Paul Wood 


At first glance, this spot looks like a scene from The BoxTrolls with the titular characters sitting around a rabbit hole or a spot where a friendly campfire used to be.

Note the tagline “Only you can set them free”. Yes, this is a Dulcolax ad and those guys are poops looking for a way out of some lucky soul’s small intestine.


McCann Health in Shanghai are the culprits masterminds behind this constipation of visuals. According to Adweek, it ran in Singapore newspapers and bus shelters.

 “Instead of approaching the dramatization from the patient’s [point of view], we approached it from the excrement’s.”

Those with long memories may recall that this isn’t the first time Dulcolax has made a poop joke…

This one, produced by Cbgrey Paris in 2009, may be even better because it requires the viewer to draw a few…conclusions.


We often hear conference room table speakers mention a desire for “disruption”, and this one certainly disrupted our day. It’s more than a joke, though: brand awareness is up “from almost zero to 21 percent” among the target audience and the purchase intention rate increased 57 percent since the ad started running…for lack of a better word.