Monday, March 21, 2005

My beef with Safeguard

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Down with Safeguard!

Every time I see a commercial for Safeguard on, I make a face that’s somewhere between wanting to throw up or finding somebody to strangle. Out of all the crappy consumer products on thousands of shelves in countless groceries and mini-marts across the country, Safeguard has to be the one I loathe the most.

For one thing, their campaign is shitty and outdated. You know the one I’m talking about because the Procter and Gamble people (makers of Safeguard, in case you have to ask) have been using the same shitty campaign since…forever. Mom sees her son with a scraped knee because of a bicycle accident, or her teenaged daughter hiding out in her room because of a humongous zit on her face or her own husband taking his shirt off and then getting a whiff of his deadly B.O. (that’s body odor, stupid). Then her “conscience” tells her that to prevent such life-threatening domestic problems in her family, she should use (what else?) Safeguard. Then cut to professional-looking old lady wearing glasses and a lab coat for the sound bite on the wonders of using Safeguard, with matching lab test results on what is purportedly a comparative analysis of the number of germs Safeguard claims to eliminate (as if you didn’t know, it’s 99.9%) as opposed to regular soap. Mom of course, goes with her conscience (after all, who among us would deliberately go against the wishes of our own “conscience” right?) And presto, just like that, just by using this miracle soap, everything is fixed: the son gets to ride his bike another day, the teenage daughter finally musters up the confidence to “face” her crush, pimple-free and all, and the husband sweeps the Mom off her feet smelling all fresh and clean. Everybody’s happy. Bring out the bucket, I’m gonna go puke now.

Since I was a kid, it’s ALWAYS been like that, or a variation thereof. You know what’s changed over the years? Only the talents in the commercials. Everything else: the concept, the execution, it’s the same shit. The P&G people are apparently a superstitious lot, because they probably think that just because they’ve been the number one selling germicidal soap for years they can keep their hold on that number one spot if they keep showing all the same story outlines over and over again over the years.

Well, sure, if the numbers and figures are any indication, the P&G people must think they’re doing something right. Thing is, that doesn’t say much about the creativity of the advertising firms they hire. I find it hard to believe that for all of these years, their creative people can’t brainstorm their way out of the same old tired plotlines and stories. But really, that’s just secondary to what gets me pissed off.

The thing that really gets my goat about Safeguard is that they have the gall to claim that theirs is the ONLY soap you should use if you want you and your family protected from all sorts of horrible germs and (consequently) diseases. Think about this: how can a soap that claims to be powerful enough to eradicate practically all the germs and bacteria on your body (99.9% right?) can also be mild enough to use on the sensitive skin on your face? Better yet, visualize this: the soap that Daddy uses on his armpit, that Junior applies to treat flesh wounds on his leg, that Mom uses after using the toilet, is the same soap Teenage Daughter will use to wash her face. Altogether now: Eew.

There was even one TVC (that’s television commercial, stupid stupid) where the voiceover warns: Isang araw lang hindi gumamit ng Safeguard, hihina agad ang immune system or some shit like that (the quote, obviously, isn’t exact). And so I go, what the hell are these people thinking? Who are they kidding? So the rest of us who DON’T use their soap for one day, will end up leaving our bodies vulnerable to all sorts of diseases and infection? What a big load of crap. Frankly, I’m amazed so many people fall for that idiotic claim. But then, I realize how popular the songs of Lito Camo are and then I get it: people are just that dumb.

5 Comments:

Anonymous hellgod said...

haha yeah, Safeguard's been recycling that theme over and over again... the simple conflict, then the mom's semi-transparent conscience, then the PAMET doctor... haha, is PAMET even a real org? I'm starting to think they were just solely created for the Safeguard commercial...

6:24 PM  
Blogger Dude said...

hehe, the ad works (atleast for my family).. everytime i use a different soap, i feel so "vulnerable".. i know it's stupid but years of brainwashing led me to believe that safeguard is the king of soaps.

-dude

5:02 PM  
Anonymous pacmaniac said...

haha if your words could kill i would have been dead by now... you see, though i dont really write for safeguard (thank god!) i can understand whatever frustrations its creative guys must have on the brand. i am guilty too of writing crap... the only good thing is that our clients dont have as much budget to pester the target market. hehe

but who knows, that just might change soon with a campaign that will bring the brand to a different level. tide is a case in point. also from p&g, tide used to give us one shitty demo ad after another. you hardly see that now. tide produces some of the most memorable campaigns on tv today -- and i'm not talking about the jv villar series of ads... :)

4:06 PM  
Blogger Vincent said...

Man! This is hilarious! Esp the third paragraph. Anyway, I absolutely ceased using Safeguard last year.

2:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

confessions of a teenage drama queen... hehe... you should check their "Hands" print ad. It made it to the Cannes Lions list (an internationally renowned festival that considers the CREATIVITY of ads). I'm not for or against Safeguard. I'm just an ordinary consumer ;) . Just wanted to keep you from throwing up

2:50 AM  

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