Friday, August 17, 2007

Girl (?) happy

The problem with being a dead musical artist is there's really nothing to stop your estate from selling your works to the highest commercial bidder. Exhibit A: Jimi Hendrix. Now, I give you Exhibit B:



Did the folks at Pfizer - or, more accurately, at Pfizer's ad agency - think about how homoerotic this ad is? Let's see - you've got a bunch of guys in a roadhouse, singing to each other, praising Viagra, and then shaking hands and driving off. I know what you're supposed to think - they're all going home to their wives/girlfriends/prostitutes - but it sort of plays like this sausage fest is actually an illicit circle jerk. "My buddies and I love getting together to re-enact our old fraternity days, but now that we're middle-aged, it's becoming more difficult to get it up... good thing Viagra came along to let us do our totally not gay thing!"

Also, did you notice what this commercial is missing? It's kind of odd to see a pharmaceutical ad that makes absolutely no mention of its product's side effects, or an ED ad that doesn't say something like "Ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex." As pointed out here, it's almost as if this spot is aimed more at recreational users of Viagra, which seems like a hideously inappropriate thing to do, especially for a prescription medication - it's basically like running ads for methamphetamines. But then nobody ever accused drug companies of being particularly ethical.

4 comments:

Andrew N.P. said...

Full disclosure: I hate it when advertisers make parodies of classic songs. That said, this one is especially bad. The lyrics were apparently written by a fifth grader at 3:00 AM ("Lonesome toad?" What the crap?), and the instrumentals are way too relaxed for Viva Las Vegas... or Viva brand paper towels, even. What happened to all the peppy guitar and percussion riffs, the musical equivalent of the Vegas Strip's flashy neon signs? They're the best part of the song, dangit!

Okay. Musical rant over. On a serious note, these ads could get Pfizer in some hot water with the FDA. Judging by other posts on that pharma marketing blog, the feds aren't too keen on ads that are all pitch and no disclaimer. Here's hoping for a lawsuit!

c12h22o11 said...

Nobody likes hearing the standard boilerplate read by a stern announcer during the commercial; at the other end of the spectrum, having a character read the boilerplate during the commercial is truly heinous ("Hey, I didn't go to medical school for nothing!"). This may be an attempt at a happy (but potentially illegal) compromise.

Andrew N.P. said...

Hey, don't mock the Yaz commercial. It's one of my favorites, precisely because of that bizarre monologue. What (non-fictional) woman chats with her girlfriends about side effects and FDA warnings?

c12h22o11 said...

I would never hang out with her. Not in a billion years. Because you know she brings it up every time she wants to make a point, no matter how minor.

"Salad or soup, miss?"
"Soup. I didn't go to medical school for nothing!"