Ad of the Day: Droga5 Lightens Up Acne Cream Category With Comic Spot for Clearasil

Nothing lasts forever

For teens, acne is no laughing matter. But Droga5 figured it was worth shaking up a category that's traditionally brimming with confidence but very little comedy.

The New York agency's first commercial for the brand breaks today, and leans into the concept of reassurance rather than confidence. And instead of showing beaming, blemish-free models telling viewers they'll be popular, the 30-second spot simply and humorously suggests there's light at the end of the tunnel for those afflicted by adolescent problems—whether it's acne, or your mom barging in on you endlessly.

Check out the spot here:

"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 tells 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."

The new tagline and brand platform is "Let's Be Clear," which doubles as a description of the product benefit and a promise of honesty in a category full of "models smiling way too happily at splashing water on their face," Gordon adds.

"Come on, nobody smiles that big washing their face, and we are also pretty sure acne face wash won't turn you into the next rock star," Gordon says. "So 'Let's Be Clear' about some stuff. Clearasil is an acne brand—we can't make you popular, but we can help clear up your acne because we don't want you to use us forever. In our new campaign, we have fun with this reassuring message to resonate with teens just like an older sibling would. Except instead of an actual older sibling, we have a weird yet relatable talking bottle in our TV spot. Other than that, totally the same."

The campaign will feature a mix of broadcast, digital, PR, social, point-of-sale and influencer marketing. The latter will include Grace Helbig as well as Rhett & Link through their daily morning talk show Good Mythical Morning.


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

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