Selling face wash? Use a couple of slappers

Pond’s Men Indonesia wants to rethink 'butch' advertising, and offers a slightly odd alternative.

May 28, 2019 10:15:00 AM | Video | Ad Nut

Ad Nut is all for breaking advertising stereotypes, and there are few more prehistoric than the male grooming scene: Adonis man, rippling muscles, achieving everything ever achievable ever thanks to the SPECIFICALLY FOR MANLY MEN product in his hand.

So kudos to Unilever-owned Pond’s Men for its stated aim to “set ourselves apart from these stereotypes”. The ad, by Ogilvy, shows two men—one butch, one hipster­—slapping each other in some sort of sporting contest, with the product entering at the end to explain this bizarre scenario.

Ad Nut appreciates some of the deft humorous touches, particularly the glaze-eyed onlooker, that produced a genuine hearty chuckle. As for the rest, it was funny, sort of, but mostly a bit confusing with a rather contrived payoff involving the product.

Perhaps the funniest part for Ad Nut is the tiny script at the start warning consumers not to try this at home (bottom right corner). Why even bother when Ad Nut missed it on the first three viewings?

This sort of irreverent, oddball humour certainly resonates in today’s ad world. However, Ad Nut prefers either a little more oddball for this type of thing, or a little more direct comedy.


Pond’s Men
Senior brand director: Bianca Cancellara

Ogilvy Singapore
Director: Diego Nuñez Irigoyen
Chief creative officer: Nicolas Courant
Associate creative director: Alessandro Agnellini
Creative team: Jonathan Ollivier, Gui Camargos, Amanda Devarajan, Julian Gutierrez
Managing partner: Matthew Leem
Group account director: Sibylla Henninger
Agency producer: Ays Tan
Production company: Stink Asia
Cinematographer: Mischa Lluch
Editor: Pang Wei Fong
Colorist: Alejandro Armaleo
Audio company: Amp.Amsterdam

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.