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Monday
Nov122007

131. Ad of the Week: Buckley's.

buckleys.jpgEvery now and then you see something in advertising that encourages, and makes you feel a little better about marketing managers, agencies and the industry as a whole. This installment of the Ad of the Week was chosen not for it's visual sophistication or clever wordplay. It's actually fairly ugly. Nor was it chosen due to some fancy schmancy video director or photographer. This campaign was chosen because it was courageous. (Not courageous in the sense of running into a burning building to rescue a puppy mind you - but courageous in the advertising sense: not scared to death to be honest or self-deprecating about your product. Not heroic, but courageous anyway.) The whole point here is to promote how terrible Buckley's tastes while indirectly enforcing it's effectiveness in relieving coughs and congestions due to colds. Somewhere, there was a marketing director that was OK with saying their product tastes terrible. Not just terrible, as they compare it to 'trash bag leakage' in one radio spot, and  to a 'public restroom puddle' in a tv spot. Now that takes some courage - as it wouldn't be a stretch, should this marketing fail, for the people responsible to lose their jobs. But they won't lose their jobs, because this campaign is memorable, funny, and just a bit disgusting. And one subtle benefit of this campaign is that I bet the taste is not quite as bad in reality as it is currently in my imagination - having yet to try it. So, they are even going to exceed most people's expectations that are set with this creative/strategy. Could it really be as bad as Pig Tongue Scrappings? You can view all 7 of their TV ads - which I saw on NBC last night - via their website. Or on YouTube.  This is a great rejuvenation of a long-term campaign - check out their print (newish and oldish) here.

Still trying to figure out the agency responsible, or if this was an in-house job. Anyone know?

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Reader Comments (11)

The Youtube link goes to the Buckley's site, and the Buckley's site link doesn't go to the videos (perhaps they're unlinkable?).
November 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDominic
I saw this on television here in Indiana (USA) and was taken aback by the bravery of that ad team! A great commercial.

I can't claim to have ever used the stuff — I don't think I've ever even seen it on sale here. I suppose I might look around and see if I can find if, that is, if I dare put the stuff anywhere near my mouth!
November 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJambe
Ah, Thanks. I corrected the links. (Not sure how that happened.) Now, I just have to find a store that carries buckley's.
November 13, 2007 | Registered Commenterjj
agency: saatchi&saatchi n.y.
http://brandimpact.wordpress.com/2007/11/05/buckleys-bad-taste/
directed by dennis liu (@ saatchi)
http://www.dennisaliu.com/
November 13, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterprog
Thanks Prog. Way to go Saatchi.
November 13, 2007 | Registered Commenterjj
This is the first ad in a LOOONG time that made me say "I gotta try that!" Brilliant.
November 13, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterblah
The first time I took it, my reaction was to holler "Holy Mother of GOD!". My wife was rather amused. The taste is a combination of mothballs, battery acid and floor cleaner. With an ammonis aroma to top it all off. It bloody well works, though.
November 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterGordoTheGeek
Buckley's put the same product in another bottle for horses and dogs & it's called ZEV.Try a Horse or Feed store where you are.
November 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterFeedstoreowner
If that's true (about the horses and dogs) it's one of the coolest (meaning gross) things I've ever heard. Powerful enough for a horse's cold?!? Awesome.
November 14, 2007 | Registered Commenterjj
"And one subtle benefit of this campaign is that I bet the taste is not quite as bad in reality as it is currently in my imagination - having yet to try it."

You'd lose. The stuff is awful. Really awful.

While I've never tasted a public restroom puddle, I can see it beating Buckleys in a BLIND taste test.

Garbage bag leakings, I'm not so sure though.
November 14, 2007 | Unregistered Commentergerwen
"Must be made by the same people"

hilarious

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcAP2SmMyD0
December 3, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSam

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