I am absolutely befuddled by this advert.
No idea what is being sold me. No idea what the concept is. I plead ignorance.
Am I being bullied? Frightened? Tickled?
Help us, Doc Ad!
Some say he can summon sea creatures should he ever need their assistance for life-saving or crime-fighting. Others swear he has the most perfectly tended lawn in the United States of America, and barely has to work at it. No matter, he’s our man in the ad world and he’s here to bring the noise.
Let me begin by saying that Tuss Industries L.L.C. has gotten a bit racier lately. Maybe even a bit randy. I mean, last week’s W.A.W. posting showed some rather large melons (literally). This week, well, see for yourself. I’m not saying I don’t like it, I’m just wondering where we are going from here.
Before we even examine the ad, let’s take a moment to consider the brand name: Manix. The product, in case you hadn’t figured it out, is for condoms. When naming a product, it is great if you can bring in some imagery or association of the use of the product without being too heavy-handed. I have to laugh at “Man” being the first syllable in this brand name. I’m not sure about the “ix” but this product is definitely for men. Also sounds a bit like a 60-70s TV show to me.
So the brand is Manix and the product is a condom. Hold it, not just another Trojan wannabe, no, this if for the big boys. “King Size”. I’m not sure if there is a large (sorry) market for king size condoms, but I’m sure there is more than one single guy who has strategically placed a box of these in his nightstand just in case a lady friend goes a snoopin’. Anyway, these are large and in-charge, got it. So the brief from the client was surely something like this… “Manix. A sheath for the extra-large dagger.”
Doc Ad has been around and has faced many a challenge, and this would fall in to the “challenging” category. The agency folks want to deliver the message, but they really, really don’t want to put this info in to headlines or copy because nobody really wants to write, or read, too much on this subject. Also, you can’t just go all Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers in terms of the imagery; that would be in poor taste. So the Creatives played upon the playground / locker room / frat house / bar euphemisms for well, largeness. It’s really pretty brilliant for a few reasons. One, most everybody is familiar with the sayings. Two, these are typically spoken, so creating them visually is new and unexpected. Three, what the hell else where they going to do?
The “third leg” joke is funny. They did a great job with the layout, and the photography. Even the styling looks like an ad for high-end Italian oxfords rather than a few inches of latex. But I wonder if the client was concerned that some folks still wouldn’t get it. Maybe that is why the keyline-into-a-condom graphic treatment at the bottom of the ad? I think this ad could have lived without that last accessory, but then I was a personal friend of Coco’s.
And the rest of the campaign (and you know there are two more of these out there)…I’m sure there is some sort of baby’s arm imagery. Maybe this is best as a one-off.
How about an old joke as Doc Ad preps a martini and Monte Cristo…
Kennedy – Nikita, what can I do for you old friend?
Khrushchev – Jack, we have a problem over here and we need you help. We have a latex shortage and we could use some condoms if you don’t mind.
Kennedy – Well, we’ve got tons of condoms, happy to help. How many do you need?
Khrushchev – can you spare a million?
Kennedy – Sure. Anything else?
Khrushchev – Oh, one thing… they should be 18 inches long and six inches across. Will that be a problem?
Kennedy – No problem. Have them to you next week.
At this point, Kennedy hangs up with the Khrushchev and dials the Trojan factory.
Kennedy – Here’s what we need, a million condoms to go to Russion. They need to be 18 inches long and six inches across. And I want you to print “”Made in USA” on one side, and on the other, print “MEDIUM”.