Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Constipated? Say CHEESE!

The graphic above is the splash page for Zelnorm™ - a drug used to treat "Irritable Bowel Syndrome."

Irritable Bowell Syndrome isn't pleasant - people who have it are pumped with just enough chronic stomach pain/problems to make life, well, crappy. Not terrible or excrutiating - just a pain in the butt.

Punny, eh?

The Creative Director for this campaign was thinking smart - writing on the model's bellies is direct, speaks to the sufferer and identifies the source of the pain. But why on earth are the models SMILING?

If I were suffering from "Abdominal Discomort, Bloating, Constipation," I wouldn't be smiling like a church greeter - I'd be wearing an appropriate face. Kind like that girl in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate factory who swells up like a blueberry.

Dunno about this one - Novartis is a huge company and can/should be able to really test ad concepts before blowing them out the pipe - maybe since I don't have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, I don't "get" why the guy could be giving a "Dude!" grin and have "I Want Relief" on his gut. Maybe his next stunt will be the ole' 'pull-my-finger' trick?

If it were me, I would have Photoshopped ship window portals that looked into raging storms or maybe nasty little creatures onto the model's bellies. Instead of having the photographer shout, "Smile!" I would have suggested, "You'll never poop!" and captured their first expression.

Unless there's some "inside thing" about Irritable Bowel Syndrome that's secretly enjoyable, I don't see anything to smile about.