Wednesday, July 23, 2014

An Examination of the Metaphorical Representation of Shit in Advertising.

"Complex Shit", by Paul McCarthy, 2008.

Constipation. Diarrhea. Explosive Diarrhea. We've all had them. We will all continue to have them. Thus, Shit Manipulation is big business for Big Pharma. But how does one visually address such a disgusting topic in ads? Let's take a figurative look up your asshole.

Dulcolax. "Only You Can Set Them Free."
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Above is a new ad just pushed out the PR poop chute this week by McCann China. Dulcolax is one of the world's leading laxative brands, made by $15 billion German pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim.
The anthropomorphized "Shits" here are imprisoned in your anus, as you can see. The Shits have eyes. A couple of the Shits have boobs. Child Shits are present. One of the Shits, the one marking the days on the "prison" wall has been up your ass a long time. If you've ever had a colonic, you know this is accurate. Dulcolax will not save him.
The "prison" execution, however, is not an original one in Shitvertising. (It's even been done before, using an anthropomorphized Sperm, to sell condoms in Brazil.)

Dulcolax. "Set It Free."
(click image to enlarge)

The above Dulcolax ad was done by Saatchi & Saatchi Italy back in 2009. (There's also a chicken leg layout.) Saatchi went for the more tasteful visual approach of showing your stuck Shit still in its pre-digested form. The protest sign headline/product shot is a nice touch. Still, I prefer McCann's artwork. There are no original ideas anymore, anywhere, ad infinitum, etc.

Dulcolax. "Rats"
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Borrowing heavily and suspiciously from "Ratatouille", this 2009 Dulcolax ad by Callegari Berville Grey in Paris is some funny shit. The Shit here of course is an unseen roaring subterranean river. Note the rat with Mickey Mouse ears, and another one with an "End Is Near" sign.

Dulcolax. "Rollercoaster"
This is a student concept ambient piece from 2012, via South Korea.
Here, you, the people, play the part of—thanks to Dulcolax—fast-moving Shit.

Dulcolax. "Moses"
(click image to enlarge)
We will end the Dulcolax run, so to speak, with this biblical 2009 ad via Brazil, titled (by me): "Let my people the bathroom." Here, the Dulcolax package is Moses, the pills are the Ten Commandments tablets (note that two pills have apparently been swallowed), the Red Sea is your colon, the Jews are foodstuffs (uh, Shit), and Canaan is a toilet.

That is some Epic Shit.

Bisolax. "Because Shit Is Not Worth Collecting."

(click images to enlarge)

Next: here's a rather graphic campaign from last year via Thailand for Bisolax, a smaller laxative brand popular in the country. (ad agency: KingKong, Bangkok). We have a trophy on the wall Shit, and a commemorative plate Shit. If you can provide me with proof that these ads were approved by the client and actually ran in a publication, I will eat Shit.

Bisolax. "Lamp Post."

Staying in Thailand, this is a Bisolax ad from 2005, by BBDO Bangkok.
We have an anthropomorphic Mom Shit grabbing her toy-store-enamored Child Shit, because it's...TIME TO GO.

Levolac. "It's so easy to do a poo..."

"Even if you're constipated, no need to feel ill-fated.
It's so easy to do a poo with Levolac helping you."

Back to 2007, and a Finnish TV spot for Levolac (by agency Bob Helsinki). Here you, the people, again play the part of pieces of Shit. The revolving door and train scenes are fine, but the trees scene is a bit forced, so to speak.

All-Bran. "Do It. Feel It."

This 2007 commercial is, in my estimation, the best piece of American Shitvertising ever created. The three Shit metaphors are perfect: The steel beam; the barrels seemingly rolling right out of the man's ass; and finally, the "shitload" of bricks. Excruciatingly painful, shitty sign off line. Still, bravo, Leo Burnett, Chicago.

Activia. "Release Yourself From Constipation."
(click image to enlarge)

Activia yogurt campaign from 2012, by Y&R Mexico (there are also cow and sheep versions). It's similar to the prison ideas, with the animals playing the part of stuck Shit. Maybe just eat less meat? The mouse hole is of course your asshole.

Senokot Laxative. "Hitler"

Having shit, Shitler is now as happy as shit, I guess.
Ad from 2012 by EuroRSCG Johannesburg.

Imodium. "Subway"

Lastly, a couple of executions form the other end of the Shitting spectrum, so to speak. In this 2010 Imodium (a McNeil/Johnson & Johnson cash cow) ad by JWT Spain, the good people of Tokyo play the part of Shit (in this case Diarrhea). But: this photo would work better for a laxative, as opposed to a costive, right? This is some weak-ass Shit.

Imodium. "Golfer"
This ad, from 2011 by JWT Canada, doesn't really fit the criterion of the post, as Shit is represented by actual Shit. But I just thought it was funny.


Blogger copyranter said...

Yes, I've closed comments on all my posts because I honestly don't give a rat's ass what any of you have to say, pro or con. Email me, if it's so fucking pressing.

7:29 AM  

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