I read our Anelia’s blog about how the upbeat packaging for Halls cough sweets put a smile on her face. Then on the train on the way home I spotted this Nurofen ad. And I have to admit I rolled my eyes so hard they practically disappeared into my brain.
Oh no, I thought. Anelia’s right. I’m grumpy. I’m jaded. I’m British.
But hang on. I don’t think I’m that repressed. I even cried at a Sainsbury’s ad once. (You know, the one where the dad and the little boy have a day out together, and they take the train to the seaside, and frolic about with a kite for a bit, and have an ice cream, and then they go home and make a massive pie for dinner, and the mum comes home and finds them cuddled up on the sofa fast asleep... oh blimey, it’s set me off again.)
I loved the Halls packaging, too. It’s funny and cute. So what is it about the Nurofen ad that’s curling my stiff upper lip into a sneer?
It seems to be trying to get at some universal human truth. But to me, its grandiose sentiments and rhetorical repetition don’t feel authentic. It makes me feel jaded because I’ve heard it all before.
And I can’t relate to it, either. Yes, I often soldier on through sniffles and sore throats. But if I get a real humdinger of a headache, I tend not to think to myself: ‘I will not let my spirits be dampened! I’m on a constant journey!’ To be honest, I’m just as likely to throw in the towel and go for a nice lie down.
(After popping a couple of Nurofen, natch.)
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