Clearasil: Cream of the Crop

NEW YORK At first, this spot for Clearasil Ultra-Treatment cream just seems to be another creepy play on the current obsessions with Cougars and/or MILFs. The awkwardness throbs as a teenage boy tries to make a pass at his friend’s mother. “So, Mrs. Kelly, how are things? Everything good?” the lad asks, in a perfect line reading that combines elements of Eddies Haskell and Munster and Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, as mom stands in the kitchen making dinner. “Must be lonely now that Mr. K. left. I’m really good company…” he says, idly grabbing a lettuce leaf and licking his finger. The mother just stands there, stunned and repelled. And the viewer is as well, until this super appears, “Clearasil may cause confidence.” Even the product demo part, with the teen looking at himself in the mirror, as the voiceover talks about eliminating “the bacteria that may cause acne” isn’t bad, because the kid so heartily approves of what he sees. Props to Euro RSCG for the category-defying approach. Who knew pimples could be so funny?