Here’s the deal. ED commercials are ridiculous. And I’m not talking about advertisements for Mr. Ed. Speaking of which, did anyone else see Hot to Trot? It was one of the first movies I went to see without my parents…it looked so cool, Bobcat Goldthwait and a talking horse – how could they go wrong? You know what the tagline for that movie was? “The funniest talking horse movie ever!” And, with the exception of Babe, Animal Farm, Barnyard, Charlotte’s Web, Dr. Dolittle, 101 Dalmatians, Racing Stripes, Home on the Range and all of the other talking horse movies I can’t think of right now, they were right. But, like I said, I’m not talking about talking horses. I’m talking about erectile dysfunction.
I’m talking about Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. Have you seen their commercials? There are a lot of them and they tend to feature forty and fifty something couples dancing and graying men riding motorcycles as very thinly veiled metaphors. The commercials tend to be ridiculous. And this is an impotent important issue.
One of these commercials features a man trying to throw a football through the center of a tire swing. And failing repeatedly. He tries the magic pill and – BINGO – he tosses the ball through the hole with perfect accuracy again and again. I guess subtlety isn’t one of their strengths. I mean, it must be a metaphor, because no one is as happy as this guy looks throwing a football through a hole. But, you know what they say, men think about throwing balls through tire swings once every seven seconds.
Then there’s the one with the guy whose car overheats. He pulls up at a gas station, walks right past the mechanic and purchases a bottled water. He takes a swig, struts past the mechanic again, pops the hood and pours in the remaining liquid. This is accompanied by some copy about knowing how to get things done and taking action. So…they’re using a guy who independently gets things done and doesn’t need any help…to sell a pill that helps men “get things done” when they definitely need some help.
One of these companies features a pair of bathtubs in their ads. These bathtubs are always in random places – a field, a hilltop, a beach…never in a bathtub’s natural environment. I don’t know how these bathtubs got out there. I don’t know how these bathtubs got filled with water. I don’t know where the man and woman in these bathtubs put their clothes. I don’t know what two bathtubs have to do with erectile dysfunction. But I do know that if I went on a hike and found a bathtub sitting in a meadow, I would not get in it.
The worst commercial, however, is “Viva Viagra.” This is the one where they rewrote the lyrics to “Viva Las Vegas,” to praise their pharmaceutical. It features a group of middle-aged men in a garage laughing and singing about their failing bodies. And this one is clearly the most authentic. Because when a man is no longer able to perform his husbandly duties…you just can’t stop him from singing about it.
“Hey, guys, I can no longer be intimate with my wife – wanna meet in my garage and express our feelings via the power of music?”
So, how am I going to do it? How will I help these drugs make better commercials? I know it’s not going to be easy. Making an effective ED ad is hard – they’ve got some stiff competition – it’s straight up difficult – we’ve got to be firm in our efforts – okay, I’ll stop now.
Having some experience with copywriting, I thought I could write some new taglines for these products. Then I realized, there are plenty of good taglines out there already – we can just use one of them.
How about we borrow the line from Avis – “We try harder.”
We could remake the old LifeCall ads, with a whole new meaning, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”
Or, my ultimate solution, we bring back the Energizer Bunny to sell these pills…with just a minor adjustment to their tagline – “It keeps growing, and growing, and growing…”