Jul 27, 2006

Will someone please tell me exactly what this product does?

I watch a lot of news especially lately with the conflict in the Middle East sparking my interest. While I have numerous complaints about the quality and format of most network and cable news I have to say one of my biggest beefs is with the commercials.

I hate advertising in general. In today's world you cannot escape someone trying to hock their merchandise or service on you. You see them on TV, radio, internet, billboards, and even sometimes on the products you've already purchased. Companies shell out billions to sell their products and are relentless in spreading their message to you.

I do believe the person who came up with the idea to advertise is sitting in hell right next to the guy who invented the Chia Pet.

Even though I hate advertisements I'm not immune to their lure. Sometimes I see one and I think that may be a good product to buy. Suddenly I find myself an advertiser's dream hoping that one day I'll truly understand how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.

There is a relatively new ad that is played constantly on cable news channels for a product called Head On. I watched the commercial in disbelief wondering what it is they were trying to tell me. The commercial loops a woman stating "Head On. Apply directly to the forehead," while a model rubs a tube across her skull. After making this statement three times the announcer makes clear that the product is sold nationwide.

That's it. That's all they tell you. At first glance I thought it was a headache medicine, but who the hell knows. It could be a beauty cream for wrinkles. It could be special deodorant for people who sweat too much from their forehead. It could be some homeopathic remedy for stupid people who still believe that Spinal Tap is a real band, that the US has 48 states, and that Guam is a food. The product packaging doesn't even tell you.

They keep informing me to that I should apply it directly to the forehead, but one would think that someone who purchased the seemingly medicinal product would already know that or at least read the instructions. I guess they're afraid of people barraging their call centers with comments like "I ate this whole tube and my hemorrhoids are still flaring. You guys suck and I'm going to sue!"

For your viewing pleasure I have the ad listed below. Warning: Viewing this may cause so much pain you'll actually consider buying their product. Maybe that's their whole strategy and if it is it's friggin brilliant.

"Advertising is legalized lying." - H. G. Wells


Memophage said...

There's an interesting loophole with drug advertising, which is that, if they tell you what the drug actually does, they also have to tell you the side effects.

This is why you end up with the commercials that have the guy, during the last two seconds of the commercial, breezing through "thisproductmaycauseblindness,maycauseyourskintofalloff,orotherwisemightkillyouatanytime".

However, it's also responsible for the drug ads that don't tell you anything at all about what the product does, just that it miraculously can cause a room full of decrepit seniors to suddenly take up ballroom dancing in the nearest field.

I'm guessing their ploy is that, if they don't tell you what it's supposed to do, then they don't have to tell you that it will make your skin fall off.

An while they're at it, they'll make it annoying and mysterious, so that you'll write articles on your blog telling all your friends about it, and what a crazy advertisement it is, and get them to click on the ad and play it for themselves free of charge.

Welcome to viral marketing. :)

GeekManGreg said...

Yeah, what the hell is this commercial all about? Whenever I see it I scream at whoever has the remote to change the channel, lest we become brainwashed by whatever messages are hidden in "Head-on. Apply directly to the forehead."