Commercial Break: Nasonex Will Fuck You Up   Leave a comment

Broadcast: 11 September 2012
Program: Katie
Channel: ABC
Conglomerate: Disney

Advertiser: Nasonex
Owned By: Merck
Product: Nasal allergy relief

In its short history, prescription drug advertising has always been plagued by the fact that while it can promise almost anything, it also has to list the potential side effects that are the main reason you can’t buy it off the shelf.  Sometimes this can be turned into comedy or a subtle brag, easily the most famous of which is dick pills and their legendary four hour hard-ons.  Other times, as with this ad for a decongestant called “Nasonex”, they have to list so many side effects that that majority of the ad is warnings. 

This is a forty-five second commercial that features a silent and skinny white lady who finds allergy relief from “Nasonex” by walking through lots of bucolic CG fields.  While she pantomimes allergy suffering and relief, two different narrators tell us about this fine new miracle cure.  The first narrator is a guy doing a bad Antonio Banderas impression who is supposed to be this computer animated bee:

Puss in Boots Got Nothin' on Me 

Yeah, it’s a bee with a bunch of non-pollinating leaves.  No, it doesn’t make sense.  Carry on. 

Then there’s a no-nonsense female narrator who lists all the side effects while pleasant imagery and the aforementioned silent actress distract you from all the horrible things she’s saying:

Rub Your Nose In a Way No One Does Ever

This is where cocaine goes!

The full transcript of the ad is as follows:

Not Antonio:  It is coming, that glorious season of nasal congestion.  Discover “Nasonex”, mometasone furoate monohydrate.  The only prescription nasal spray approved to relieve nasal congestion due to seasonal allergies. 

No word on why he calls nasal congestion season “glorious”.  Is that otherwise friendly looking bee supposed to be some kind of ear, nose and throat demon?  Is he talking about Merck’s bottom line?  Whatever, the bee is window dressing to the main point, which is horrible, horrible side effects:

Side Effects Lady: Nose bleeds, infections of the nose and throat, and slow wound healing may occur.  Do not use Nasonex until your nose has healed from any sores, surgery, or injury.  Eye problems, including glaucoma or cataracts may occur.  Have regular eye exams.  Nasonex can increase your risk of getting infections.  Avoid contact with infections like chicken pox or measles while using Nasonex.  Side effects may include headache, viral infections, sore throat, and coughing. 

Let’s just list those, shall we?:

  • Nose bleeds
  • Nasal infections
  • Throat infections
  • Slow healing
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Increased risk of infection generally
  • Headaches
  • Still more infections
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing

Following that litany of unpleasantness, Not Antonio comes back to distract us before the commercial ends:

Not Antonio: Why suffer?  Ask your doctor about Nasonex.

First of all, that list sure seems to include a lot of suffering.  More importantly, whatever benefits mometasone furoate monohydrate may or may not have, the side effects comprise the overwhelming majority of the ad.  If you just look at the word counts, Not Antonio says 35 of them while the Side Effects Lady belts out 72, more than twice as many.  Or, to put it another way, a two-thirds majority of this commercial is spent describing all the awful things “Nasonex” can do to you, up to and including making you susceptible to horrible diseases, having blood pour out of your head, and blindness.  Ask your doctor.

Posted September 14, 2012 by Charlie Sweatpants in Commercial Break

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