Clever ads to beat the sniffles

January 14th, 2015 / Sophie Allen

It’s the second working week of January, Christmas is well and truly over and the Together team is suffering with coughs, sniffles and shivers.

But fear not – we’re a big ‘ol bunch of troopers here at Together and we’re not letting it slow us down. There’s nothing a large cup of tea can’t fix, and as I unpacked my poorly day survival kit (multiple packs of tissues, cough sweets and lots of water) it actually got me thinking about my favourite cold remedy-pushing ads.

The challenge brands face, should they choose to accept it, is to get across the general ickiness of colds without grossing out the audience. It’s a tough one, but a couple of brands absolutely nail it while also managing to effectively showcase the sweet, sweet relief their meds can offer. First, let’s talk Benylin.


Benylin (2014)

This year’s Benylin advert treats a nasty cough with adorable quirkiness. As bewildered looking test subjects are subjected to a variety of mad experiments – including being pummelled by a sumo wrestler – the expert team of course proves only Benylin will do the job.

I love the strapline ‘Treating the nation one cough at a time’. It fits perfectly with the concept and positions Benylin as the nation’s saviour, as they embark on an epic mission to treat every last one of us. Paired with the final scene it also has a personal, caring edge.

It’s a relief, too, that they’ve ditched that grim little gremlin. It used to seriously creep me out, no matter how clever the ‘Get it off your chest’ wordplay.


Sudafed (2011 & 2014)

As soon as I thought of the idea for this post it was the 2011 Sudafed ad that came straight to mind.

With a brilliant play on the phrase ‘feeling woolly-headed’, ad agency JWT London teamed up with textile artist and serial yarn bomber Magda Sayeg to create a stop-motion, yarn-based ad.

The concept is fantastically clever and perfectly combats the inherent grossness of colds by portraying it with a creative and cuddly medium. I mean, a bunged-up cross-section of a human head has never been so cute.

Sudafed has been at it again this year, with an advert featuring animation by Bristol-based geniuses Aardman.

I’m a massive Aardman fan and, in my opinion, pretty much everything they touch turns to gold.  In fact, this isn’t the first time Aardman has worked with the Sudafed brand.

The concept itself is hardly ground-breaking, particularly compared to the previous ads, but the visuals are fantastic. The audience really knows that horrid, heavy-headed feeling that Aardman makes literal here, and the ‘after’ shot superbly emphasises the difference Sudafed could make.

Now, time to grab my nearest box of tissues, take a swig of water and face the world. Get well soon to anyone else struggling with post-Christmas poorliness!

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