Stuart Elliot on Pepto Dance

In an earlier post I vented spleen about a gross ad; today Stuart Elliot responds to a reader with a similar reaction…

A Reader Asks: Has anyone other than me written to you to voice his or her gastric horror over the new Pepto-Bismol commercial? It shows five office workers doing a “macarena-esque” dance while moving their hands to act out the five body maladies that Pepto allegedly helps, including diarrhea.

Unlike the product itself, the spot is stunningly tasteless. But in a perverse way, it may actually help sell the product, as it upsets my stomach every time I see it.

Two words: Pepto-Abysmal.

Stuart Elliott: Dear reader, you are the first to weigh in on the television commercial, which was created for the maker of Pepto-Bismol, Procter & Gamble, by Publicis Worldwide in New York, part of the Publicis Groupe. The spot, in which the five dancers act out the symptoms the product is meant to treat – diarrhea, heartburn, indigestion, nausea and upset stomach – is called “Lineup,” and promotes a new cherry flavor of Pepto-Bismol.

And as you deduced, dear reader, the commercial may indeed be actually helping to sell the product. The trade publication Advertising Age reports that Procter believes a recent increase in dollar sales for Pepto-Bismol is largely a result of the commercial, which began appearing in January. There are even plans to create radio versions of the TV spot, featuring the hip hop artist known as Biz Markie


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