Ad for Ted’s Pain Cream Stars Greg, the Guy Who Didn’t Get His Name on the Product

Don't worry, he's not bitter. Or is he?

Headshot of Tim Nudd

It’s a little awkward when you invent a product with someone else, but only they get their name on it.

This is the sad reality of Ted’s Pain Cream, a new product that claims to “outsmart pain on a molecular level” rather than just numbing it. Ted’s Pain Cream was created by a pair of neuroscientists, Ted Price and Greg Dussor, but only Ted’s name is on the product. Indeed, the product name makes it sound like it’s Ted’s—and Ted’s alone.

A new ad from agency Kickstand leans into the behind-the-scenes uncomfortableness of this, by focusing on Greg—and how not-bitter (yeah, right) he is about the product name. Check out the spot below. And yes, it really is Greg playing himself, not an actor.

Kickstand creative director and writer Matt Bull tells AdFreak the agency didn’t just make the ad. It came up with the product name, too—creating the whole dynamic that led to the spot.

“Originally, the company was called Resveratech,” Bull explains. “When they hired us to do their marketing, we told them they needed to rethink the name. They let us throw a bunch of ideas at them, and we pushed hard for Ted’s, which nearly everyone—including Greg—supported.”

Funnily enough, Ted was one of the few people who didn’t love it, at first.

“Ted is a pretty humble guy and was uncomfortable about telling people his company was named after him,” says Bull. “So when we were thinking of ad concepts, we probably brought a little of our own subconscious guilt to it. Guilt for robbing Greg of his day in the sun, and guilt for saddling Ted with a company name that made him seem like a narcissist.”

The finished ad, which is quite well done, probably relieved some of the tension.

“We’re always fans of heading straight into tension, so this idea came early. And everyone in the company immediately loved it for all the same reasons,” says Bull. “The fact that Greg surprised everyone with genuine comedic genius was a lovely bonus. The Facebook comments from his shocked university students are maybe our favorite part of the whole thing.”

Client: Ted’s Brain Science Products

Agency: Kickstand
Matt Bull, Creative Director, writer
Bo Bartlett, Creative Director, art director

Production/Postproduction: charlieuniformtango
Jeff Elmore – Executive Producer
Evan Linton – Editor
Artie Pena – Online/Color/FX
Nick Patronella – Music and mix
Director – Lan Freeman
Mark Fisher – DP
Vocals: Jessi Hall

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.