Clogged drains are gross. Just think about the combination of things that go into rendering your tub drain completely nonfunctional: enough hair to knit a child's sweater, some soap scum, a load of unidentifiable brown goo. And the process of actually removing said clog? So not sexy.
… Or is it? In the grand pornographic tradition of the housewife fantasy, brands like Clorox's Liquid-Plumr are attempting to spice up otherwise mundane products with ads in which hunky men (hey, Kraft Zesty Guy!) promise to add some excitement to your daily routine.
Liquid-Plumr—which admittedly has an advantage with the whole "cleaning out your pipes" double entendre—first tested this idea with DDB California's spot for its "Double Impact" formula (obviously, there were two hunky would-be plumbers involved). Agency and client are now going back for seconds with this ad for the brand's new "Urgent Clear" product.
In the ad, a woman with pipe-cleaning needs of her own spots a bottle of Urgent Clear at the supermarket. Immediately, she starts fantasizing about a sexy handyman (named Peter, naturally) showing up at her house. She's preparing to walk out the door and has no time, she insists—but he declares that he only needs seven minutes to get the (plumbing) job done. Not a lot left to the imagination with this one.
Jason Elm, chief creative officer of DDB California, says there's at least some instructive value to the spot, though. "Note that we still clearly show the drain-clearing benefits and product demo," he says. "We just built the fantasy around it."
Client: The Clorox Company
Product: Liquid-Plumr Urgent Clear
Vice President, Marketing: Heidi Dorsin
Agency: DDB, San Francisco
Chief Creative Officer: Lisa Bennett
Director of Production: Frank Brooks
Group Creative Director: Chad Ackley
Associate Creative Director, Art Director: Kelly McCullough
Associate Creative Director, Copywriter: Billy Leyhe
Agency Producer: Jessica Manning
Account Director: Rebecca Hines
Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
Director: Clay Weiner
Executive Producer: Holly Vega
Line Producer: Lisa Stockdale
Editor: Brian Lagerhausen
Visual Effects: Beast Editorial
Visual Effects Artist: Dave Burghardt
Telecine: Company 3
Colorist: Bob Festa
Sound Design, Audio Mixing: M Squared Productions
Sound Designer: Mark Pitchard