Advertising is a field that requires a lot of creativity. You want to find a way to pitch your product that grabs at the attention of your prospective audience while ensuring that they remember the name of your product and what it will allegedly do for them. Having Clydesdales and dalmatians star in your commercial might be cute and memorable, but will it make anyone drink more of your beer?
Subtlety is not always the best ingredient to work into advertising since it’s a given that about one third of your audience has the density of a brick that got stuck in a bucket of Quikrete. Nature scenes didn’t help Infiniti sell cars when it first started out in 1990, and guys swimming in the pool did not boost the sales of Rogaine before it was allowed to publicly say what it did to your bald spot.
The makers of HeadOn, a topical treatment for the relief of headaches, took this advice completely to head… er, heart when they released this rather bold 15 second ad that appeared constantly on daytime TV about 10 years ago…
Geez, does it get any more direct than that?
No bells and whistles…. no cute kids or stupid mascots… not a single luxury. Just a model showing everyone how to use HeadOn, with the announcer repeating the product name and how to use it three times in rapid fire succession. Used car salesmen and Billy Mays may be loud and outrageous, but at least they are somewhat goofy and entertaining. This is just mind-numbingly awful. HeadOn is the commercial that repeats on an endless loop at the gates of Hell…
If you are still able to think after being subjected to this televised torture, you may notice that while HeadOn and how to use HeadOn are now drilled deep into your skull, the ad never does actually mention what exactly you would need to apply HeadOn directly to the forehead for. The reason for this may or may not surprise you. It turns out, HeadOn is a homeopathic solution. Homeopathic medicine is about on a par with astrology and alchemy in the distinguished hall of science. You may as well try to cure your jock itch by rubbing on a unicorn…
And thus, the FDA pretty much told HeadOn they couldn’t legally make any factual claims about what their product supposedly did, lest they open up the late night airwaves to every witch doctor and quack in the alternative medicine community. This is why the HeadOn advertising committee only mention the product and the method of application.
They are also homeopathic geniuses.
From the Wiki page for homeopathy, a definition of the field:
Homeopathy is a system of alternative medicine created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, based on his doctrine of like cures like, according to which a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people will cure similar symptoms in sick people. Homeopathy is a pseudoscience; its remedies have been found to be no more effective than placebo.
If the point of homeopathy is to find what causes the condition in the first place, and subsequently use that source to treat it, then the HeadOn folks have done a wonderful job of using their annoying ad to cause millions of otherwise healthy people to get headaches. That seems like an awful sadistic way to help a few other out there who are a bit stressed out or got hit by an anvil on the way to work.
Those that are cured by HeadOn merely make way for the unfortunate masses who had to bear with the commercial so that the suffering could be cured. Now they have a headache this big, so the nightmarish ad must be rerun to ensure the purity of HeadOn’s homeopathic nature… and the cycle just continues to repeat itself over and over and over again. Absolutely brilliant. No matter how much you might want to apply a hammer directly to the forehead of the President of HeadOn, you have to admire their diabolical plan.
The fuckers even have a sense of humor about their sadism!
So the next time you find yourself with a killer migraine from watching too many annoying commercials about homeopathic topical solutions, you’ll know what to do even if you wish you didn’t. We here at The Nest would like to give a head slapping salute to the makers of the foremost product in forehead relief, HeadOn. Now we no longer need to shoot the dog next door and seek out a dark room to hide from our head-pounding symptoms. Thanks to a little HeadOn applied directly to the forehead, we’ll now be able to return to the quiet, civilized life that is daytime television!