Commercial Break: Salonpas May Not Actually Exist   Leave a comment

Broadcast: 8 October 2012
Program: Hardball
Channel: MSNBC
Conglomerate: Comcast

Advertiser: Salonpas
Owned By: Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical
Pitch: Rub this on your skin and you’ll be pain free and have a perfect kitchen.

This is a fairly standard non-prescription medicine commercial.  It features a guy speaking right into the camera who really wants us to think that he, personally, is a satisfied customer:

Back pain had me suffering day and night.  So I turned to Salonpas, the only OTC pain patch clinically proven to relive my pain for up to twelve hours.

See all the verbal cues there?: “had me”, “I turned”, “my pain”.  Of course, it’s all a lie:

Painful Acting

This is my “grimace” face, but I can also do “sharp pain” and “paper cut wince”.

Right there in the bottom right, tastefully lined up with the edge of the table to really conceal it: “Actor Portrayal”.  But that routine chunk of stagecraft dishonesty isn’t what makes this ad stand out for being crappy.  That comes at the end, when we get the money shot:

Fake Boxes

Among the anagrams for “Salonpas”: Lap Ass On, Laos Snap, and Anal Sops.

Even on the compressed image above it’s plain as day that those boxes have been very roughly photoshopped into that background image, and it looks even worse on actual TV.  Look at that odd dark fuzz at the bottom of the “box”, look how there’s no light whatsoever on the fronts, check out the perfect symmetry of the reflections, even through what’s supposed to be grout!  It’s almost like someone copied and pasted it there. 

This is how contemptuous of the audience many commercials are.  They know that anyone watching this ad is half checked out and not paying attention anyway, so they slap this terribly done image at the end because no one’s going to notice.  The same way they expect you to not read the small print that says “Actor Portrayal”, they also expect you to not care that the image they’re presenting is fake through and through. 

Posted October 10, 2012 by Charlie Sweatpants in Commercial Break

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