Super Bowel 50? Some Viewers Cried Foul, but These 2 Poop Ads Got People Talking

AstraZeneca stands behind spot

Headshot of Katie Richards

During last night's broadcast of Super Bowl 50, the ads were filled with animals to warm our hearts, celebrities to make us laugh and ads about constipation and diarrhea to make us all very, very uncomfortable.

Not one, but two national ads addressing bowel movements—one for a drug to help with opioid-induced constipation (OIC) and another for irritable bowel syndrome—ran during the game. (Take a look at the two spots below.)

While the first spot, "Envy," came as a surprise, Twitter lost it when the second bowel-related commercial aired. In the first half alone, there were 10,250 tweets about constipation, according to data from Amobee.

"We anticipated that there would be those that would try to find humor in it, but that highlights the chasm that exists between those that are suffering and those that don't realize OIC exists," Dave Fredrickson, vp of specialty care at AstraZeneca, told Adweek.

Some viewers clearly felt the Super Bowl was not the time to get real about bowel problems. AstraZeneca, the company behind "Envy," disagreed. It said the Super Bowl, which tallied 114.4 million viewers last year, was the perfect time to get Americans talking about opioid-induced constipation.

"Unfortunately there is very low awareness around opioid-induced constipation as a condition. Some folks are embarrassed to talk about it so we wanted to put together an ad to raise awareness and encourage discussions and dialog around OIC," Fredrickson added.

"Envy," the spot which features a man who is envious of another man and a dog for being able to relieve themselves in public places, has tallied nearly 1 million views on YouTube since it aired. According to Fredrickson, the drug's website,, has had over 20,000 visitors since last night.

Salix Pharmaceuticals did not respond to requests for comment about the IBS-related spot for Xifaxan, a drug that cures abdominal pain and diarrhea, featuring the brand's go-to "gut guy." The little pink mascot, made to look like intestines, racked up just as much attention on Twitter—a win for bowel-related drugs everywhere.

@ktjrichards Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.