Client’s First TV Effort: a ‘Cutting Edge’ 30-Second Commercial for PMS Escape
BOSTON–Clarke Goward employs humor in a television commercial now breaking for InterNutria’s PMS Escape, a dietary supplement purported to relieve the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
In the 30-second spot, a haggard husband steps quietly into his living room late at night. He settles down on the couch, looks nervously around and slowly removes a heavy lamp from a table. Finally, a thrown pillow strikes him in the head. The ad does not have a tagline.
Now airing on prime-time network programs, the commercial will appear in the Boston market for the next couple of months and roll out nationally in the fall, according to Wendy Kramer, vice president of sales and marketing at InterNutria.
Clarke Goward creative director Spencer Deadrick said he does not believe the spot will be construed as offensive, despite the fact that the ad appears to imply women should take PMS Escape out of deference to their male significant others.
Agency research shows that those who suffer from the negative effects of premenstrual syndrome “have a sense of humor about PMS,” according to Deadrick, who added that the chief concern women say they have about PMS is how it effects their relationships. Deadrick, who served as copywriter for the spot, teamed with art director Jim Amadeo.
Kramer called the spot “cutting edge” and said that no matter how her company promotes PMS Escape, the nature of the product makes its marketing ripe for controversy.
Clarke Goward won the account of Lexington, Mass.-based InterNutria nearly two years ago and has produced several print and radio ads for the client. The current commercial represents the company’s first foray into television.
Spending levels for the current effort were not disclosed. At the time the assignment was given to Boston-based Clarke Goward, billings were estimated by InterNutria to be in the $8-10 million range.
A national rollout effort for PMS Escape in 1996 included a public relations campaign by Cone Communications in Boston.
Developed by a scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PMS Escape is a flavored, powdered substance that is mixed with water. InterNutria claims that the product, which can be purchased over-the-counter at drug stores and supermarkets throughout New England, relieves the various symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, including memory loss and mood swings.