Weekly Ad Uncoiling: Lifebuoy Handwash

Oh buoy. Welcome back Web explorers to the Dr. Moreau School of Digital Art Direction. On the plate today: a tabby croissant. Because “you eat what you touch.” Lifebuoy is just the latest advertiser trying to capitalize on our post-modern germophobia, where washing your hands with simple soap IS NOT ENOUGH. Pet your cat, eat your cat. Take out your garbage, eat your garbage. Wipe your ass, eat your ass. Putting aside my utter distrust of this whole fucking product category, here’s my one sentence review of this campaign: maybe you ad creatives should’ve concentrated on visually dramatizing a believable reason to buy, as opposed to making me think about biology class, and dead cats, and whether or not I have any Pepcid in my Timbuk2 bag (I endorse both of those products). At least the cat-croissant isn’t crawling with worms. Click here for a closer look, and then jump for a second pet experiment featuring a dead hamster muffin.

[Weekly Ad Uncoiling is a guest column by CLIO, ANDY, Mobius, One Show and Bobcat pin (Cub Scouts) award-winning advertising creative director copyranter, who won those pointless awards years ago, and now seriously dislikes the “creative process” and Pinewood derby races.]

20 Responses to “Weekly Ad Uncoiling: Lifebuoy Handwash”

  1. kris_ether Says:

    God I hate this scare mongering, cotton wool, society we have now.

    It because of stuff like this, about how the world we live in is ‘too clean’, that doctors do have to dish out the antibiotics to people, and have to treat ever increasing numbers of children suffering from asthma and the like. Whoopie, so the cleaner and hand wash and so forth kill all the bacteria in my house. Well great, because the next time I come into contact with some minor bug I’m actually gonna die because my immune system has had no exposure to the very bugs that make it stronger. Yep you heard me. We need to be infected by colds, food poisoning, and what ever else that lurks in the bin, sink, garden and arse so that we can be stronger.

    Think that’s mad?? Well consider this. There are scientists that have spotted this trend of children being brought up in ever cleaner environments who then end up more prone to illness. Their answer to this problem??? The ‘Dirt Vaccine’. All the goodness of dirt in a single syringe! Just to make up for the fact that mum, the media frighten ignorant, would not let little Timmy play in the dirt and suck on worms.

    Motto of the Day: Live Longer, the Eat Dirt!




    So yes be clean, obviously don’t eat meat that has gone off, but don’t get to carried away with using those cleaners. Remember it is this very ‘I WANT IT CLEAN, GIVE ME THE DAMNED ANTIBIOTICS’ attitude that means that we now have super germs like MRSA.

    Science Rant ends here


  2. Jessica Says:

    The wooooooorms, the maggoooooots…the mammalian baked goods! Ye gads Copyranter! I’m sure that I speak for many when I say that I’m absolutely thrilled that you’ve joined the Coilhouse clan!

  3. Thews Says:

    how is Lifebuoy still in business? That horrible soap made Ralphie go blind of soap poisoning in the movie A Christmas Story.

    So that means, if I eat what I touch and I touch Lifebuoy and Lifebuoy makes you go blind when you eat it I will go blind if I use Lifebuoy. Awesome.

  4. fancycwabs Says:

    I guess it’s better than a plate full of hot wings shaped like my genitals.

  5. gooby Says:

    Thinking about breakfast on Melmac. I want a croissant now.

  6. agentfetish Says:

    Could this vigorous promotion of soap/sanitizers be a response to the surge in MRSA cases?

  7. Peter S. Says:

    Thews, you are brilliant.

  8. Winominx Says:

    “I guess it’s better than a plate full of hot wings shaped like my genitals.”

    Delicious. And so are those hamster cupcakes. Mmm, fine dining.

    This is a great article, though they do run the risk of a pussy joke.

    Or am I the only one who thought that?

  9. Warren Says:

    Wipe your ass, eat your ass.

    I’m just glad they didn’t get near that. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see overphallicized hot dogs, or pudenda’d slices of peach.

    And yes, germophobia is ridiculous, and using disgust or revulsion to make a point is never a good tactic — it’s too easy for your audience to transfer their disgust to your product.

  10. Drew Says:

    I wonder what they left on the cutting room floor. Shoelace spaghetti? A penis apple?

    You think they couldn’t use a puppy because it wouldn’t reach asian potential customers?

  11. Anatomie Says:

    That cat croissant is the most adorable thing ever.
    I’m a little guilty of being a germophobe and using hand sanitizer every now and then, because I’m on drugs that mess around with my immune system. But people who go overboard and douse themselves and their kids with dettol are doing themselves a whole lot of damage. Having a weakened immune system is NOT cool.

    …Germ injections?! Gee, I wonder how much those cost?

  12. electronic_mily Says:

    You know, the whole germophobia thing freaks me out more than the germs do. I personally give credit for my relatively good health to the fact that I see no problem in touching doorknobs or drinking out of other people’s glasses.

    Not to mention that most cats I’ve met were cleaner than most children I’ve met.

  13. aardvark Says:

    These associations don’t always work out the way they’re intended. Now my stomach growls every time I look at my cat.

  14. Mer Says:

    Welcome aboard, Copyranter. Very glad you’re here.

    Mmmmm. Cat croissant. *Gllaaaghghhghle*

  15. Thews Says:

    Cat croissant. I’ll never think of fluffy pastry the same again.

    On a serious note, sanitizers are all find and dandy when used sparingly, I sanitize my hands and every thing I use when I brew beer, but that’s it, and I don’t do it to keep me from getting sick I do it so the beer will taste good, bacteria makes beer taste like you wont expect it to taste. Sour beer on the other hand, well, the more funky bacteria (and wild yeast) the better.

  16. copyranter Says:

    that’s the best imitation of Homer drooling I’ve ever read.

    Jessica: thanks.

  17. Jerem Morrow Says:

    Hamster muffin…NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  18. Caitlin Burke Says:

    I love this ad. I believe it is for a liquid soap, not a hand sanitizer, by the way. (I too am skeptical of antibacterial soaps, but any soap is better than hand sanitizers.)

    As much as I love it, though, the ad fails for me, because I only buy simple soaps and I think that cat looks *delicious*.

  19. Wash Your Hands Or Eat This | All Things Cupcake - #1 Cupcake Site. Everything Cupcake Related. Updated Daily! Says:

    […] what’s gross? Germs. You know what’s even grosser? A cupcake made out of hamster. This ad for Lifebuoy soap features an incredibly lifelike rodent dessert, to send the message “You […]

  20. Grooveblog -- Blog Archive » Dr Moreau’s Kitty Croissant Says:

    […] Got to hand it to Lifebuoy Handwash for this old print spot from 2008, it’s an oldie but such a goodie. This was the start of the sanitized lifestyle that so many people are obsessed with. Meh, I say … as a cat kisser, dog patter and someone who has eaten from the dirtiest food hawkers Asia can muster, I’m not impressed! Makes me want to grab my kittehs and just kiss them harder because visually I’m not that threatened by what I’m seeing.  Yes, I want to eat my cats, lick the local dogs and eat whatever garbage my hands get a hold of … because it’s not going to kill me. Post modern germophobia is good for business. Via […]