Enough With The “Product On A T-Shirt” Ads! «

Enough With The “Product On A T-Shirt” Ads!

I’m done. I’ve over it. I’ve been over it for years actually. What I am talking about? Well, those ads that have actors pretending to be products, services, symptoms or diseases, which need a t-shirt slogan to blatantly spell it out. Bit of a mouthful that, it’s easier to show examples.

Original image courtesy of Phauly

The latest one to give me chronic heartburn is an ad to stop chronic heartburn. Oh, the bittersweet irony. You can see it here, it’s for Zegerid OTC.

Here’s the plot:

Doorbell rings, man answers.

Two guys stand at his doorstep, and say:

Guy 1:”Sam Higgins? You have frequent heartburn, right?”

Sam: “Yeah, it flares up a few days a week.”

Guy1: “Well, we’re the two active ingredients in Zegerid OTC.”

Guy 2: “I’m Omeprazole, the leading prescription heartburn medicine.”

Guy 1: “And I’m Sodium Bicarbonate. I protect him from stomach acid so he can get to work.”

(OK, time out for a second. I’m aware of the suspension of disbelief in advertising, but this is complete drivel. Two guys wearing t-shirts show up at your door in the middle of the night, and announce that they believe they’re active ingredients in a stomach medicine. Um, at this point I’d be slamming the door in their smug faces, calling the cops, and frantically searching the house for some kind of self defense weapon. But this guy LETS THEM IN! Anyway, back to it…)

Sam: “Look guys, I’ve already tried a lot of stuff.”

Sam opens the medicine cabinet which contains a plethora of heartburn remedies…and nothing else. (It’s too bad for him if he ever gets a headache, a cut, a allergies or any other ailment. All he cares about is stockpiling pointless heartburn remedies.)

Guy 1: “Wow!”

Guy 2: “With Zegerid OTC you get 24 hour relief!”

Sam: “So this is goodbye heartburn!”

(And it was that easy to convince him. This fella is a used car salesman’s dream. Although, from the medicine cabinet brimming with other heartburn remedies, it looks like he believes anything anyone says and buys the product no questions asked.)

Guy 2: “Gone!”

Guy 1: “Finito” (brushes dirt off his shoulder)

The ad finishes with the two active ingredients stood on Sam’s lawn, pushing the packaging in front of the camera.

Aside from the fact that it must have taken the creatives about 10 minutes to write this, and that includes the time it took to brew the coffee, this is just lazy advertising. I’ve only ever seen this approach work once, and that was for the famous “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” ads. But they were executed perfectly, the men represented the products to a tee, and they had scripts that were alive with great banter. These ads are the exception to the rule.

If you have to put a title on a t-shirt to announce your main characters, be they ear wax, heartburn, sulfuric acid, hair tonic or anything else, you’ve failed.

It’s time to put these ads out of their misery once and for all.



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