An Explanation! Sort of.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008
I was really excited when Newsweek decided to write about the Tylenol ads, which have been befuddling me since they appeared in the Metro tunnels. And it sort of kind of answers the question, but then brings in the Dove soap ads, which seem different, because it's not like normal-bodied people do not need soap, whereas painless people do not need Tylenol. Also, the print edition of this article seems to throw it's hands in the air and say "I dunno. Maybe it works," when it ends with:

"Such ads also stand out in a market cluttered with unrealistic promises. The risk is that you'll decide you're doing fine, no purchase necessary. And no company wants to make that sale."
But the Web edition is a little more thought provoking, bringing in more examples and looking more closely at the Dove example (hyperlinks mine):

"That contradiction marks the fine line these companies must walk with campaigns that both criticize and promote their industries. Even Dove, the self-esteem champion, is having an increasingly difficult time walking the walk. Its new "Go Fresh" campaign, debuting today, is a minidrama about twentysomethings struggling with jobs, friends, love interests, and, of course, loving themselves. For the next five weeks it will air, ironically, during a commercial break from "The Hills," an MTV show one of whose stars, Heidi Montag, been very open about getting breast implants and a nose job (she told Us Weekly she "hated" her nose).
It's worth a read. And it would have been worth doing a better job cutting it for print.

(Pictures of the ads to come when I can take a few. I cannot find them online).

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