94 years ago, liar H.K. McCann launched his NYC ad agency with the slogan "Truth Well Told." That was a big fat lie. Advertising copywriter Copyranter brings you instances of advertising lies and the lying liars who sell them.
Many of you have probably seen the wince-inducing "Viva Viagra" TV spot now airing in the U.S. (Fun/sad fact: the drummer in the band is Dorsey Wright—Cleon from "The Warriors.") But what are Viagra commercials like in Canada? Turkey? In woman-hating Saudi Arabia? Well, they are all both more entertaining and more effective. To the videos!
First stop on the artificial hard-on ad tour is Canada. Much like here in puritanical America, erectile dysfunction advertising up north can't say anything remotely sexual. A couple of years ago, Pfizer was forced to pull a U.S. TV ad in which the V in the Viagra logo rose up behind the head of a suddenly flush man, forming glowing blue devil horns. To avoid any such marketing coitus interruptus, Toronto ad agency Taxi decided that saying nothing and yet, wink wink, everything was the best approach. I know it gave me a "chuckwubble"!
Next up (semi-heh) is Turkey. Though the directing and editing and acting and music on this 60-second spot are amateurish (it would have been much better as a :30), it still serves as a fairly effective product demonstration. Put blue pill in mouth and—boing!
Finally, this is how they sell stiffy-stiffeners in Saudi Arabia. It's my favorite of the three because it's brief, simple, cheap, and it does the best job of branding Viagra: Blue=Hard.
This concludes your world E.D. tour. I hear through ad scuttlebutt that Pfizer absolutely adores the Viva Viagra abomination (which is via impotent, bloated agency McCann Erickson). This makes me sad. Because just like with condom advertising, America comes up limp again.
Previously: The Great Diaper Wars