The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Nothing Say’s Tasty Like The Thought Of A Good, Old Bowel Movement …
March 27, 2012, 6:15 am
Filed under: Crap Campaigns In History

Whether it’s Kellogg’s or Macca’s, all food companies want to be associated with ‘health’.

I understand why, because in this image conscious, health illusion World of ours, selling the premise of ‘good food’ increases the chances – and regularity – of purchase.

Talking of regularity, I want to draw your attention to an ad I recently saw …

OK, so I appreciate Nestle Acti-V yoghurt is good for you.

I appreciate it contains special micro-organisms and fiber that has been ‘scientifically proven’ for effectiveness.


By all means say it ‘keeps you regular’.

Maybe say it helps ‘keep your insides healthy’.

But for fucks sake don’t say BOWEL MOVEMENT because instead of building up ‘taste cues’, you end making people think ‘Eat this and shit a lot’.

But it gets worse.

Yes, even worse than basically flogging ‘instant shit’.


Because rather than just say bowel movement once and pretend it didn’t happen, they go straight back to the ‘talent’ who say’s, “Mmmmmm Mmmmmm’ [which could be either an attempt to imply the yoghurt is tasty or that she’s just shit her pants] and then end the whole sorry episode with a big picture of the product and a super surrounding it that say’s in great, big letters:



And they ran this ad during American fucking Idol.

AMERICAN IDOL, a show designed to appeal to 17 year old losers.

And 41 year old planning idiots.

Another example of brilliant media planning.

But all that aside, I have a word of advice for Nestle.

If you want to sell a product that keeps people regular, may I suggest that directly associating its taste with shitting is probably not the best way to go. Look, I appreciate your ‘honesty’ … I admire how you are trying to offer people a better alternative to cardboard bran … but in future, try using code words for ‘bowel movements’ instead of saying it so literally because regardless how yummy your product is, placing an image of someone heaving on the toilet is not very good for you or any of your potential customers.

Unless they are trying to make 2 Girls and 1 Cup, the sequel.

42 Comments so far
Leave a comment

That’s shit. Literally.

Comment by Billy Whizz

I knew I could rely on you to go with the most obvious – yet incredibly accurate – option.

Comment by Rob

I’ve watched the ad and it doesn’t make me want to eat some tasty, creamy dairy product, it makes me want to shit. And throw up.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Finally a food company recognizes the opportunity of targeting the bullimia category.

Comment by DH

Evil. But funny. What the hell, it’s not like I had a chance at heaven anyway is it.

Comment by Rob

You watch American Idol? And I thought listening to queen was bad.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Wait for him to say its for “research”.

Comment by DH

Wait for the police to say its potential pedo habits.

Comment by Billy Whizz

And a crime against music with one previous queen conviction already taken into account.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Why do you sound sarcastic Dave, it was.

Well, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.

Comment by Rob

American idol is the tv equivalent of nestle acti-v.

Comment by DH

So they didn’t run an ad in american idol, it was a joint promotion.

Comment by DH

A perfect example of bad planning, bad media planning and a client mandated ad.

Comment by Pete

Plus I’m fairly certain link testing. A method designed to ensure comprehension even though no one will want to watch it unless paid by Milward Brown.

Comment by Pete

Another day, another bitch. What’s got into you Pete?

Comment by DH

His balls have finally dropped?

Comment by Billy Whizz

10 million percent ‘yes’.

Comment by Rob

That’s fucking Millward Brown, even more twatty that Media Arts

Comment by northern

What Pete said. Especially the bit about link testing.

Comment by Bazza

How does it regulate shitting?

Does it have a built in clock so every hour, on the hour, you shit? Or is it just marketing code for one off turd emissions so it doesn’t regulate it just causes a bowel movement?

Comment by Billy Whizz

You’re giving this too much thought.

Comment by DH

Am I in danger of sounding like a planner?

They produce more shit than acti-v.

Comment by Billy Whizz

my missus must be feeding my daughter that nestle crap because she shits like a fucking machine. the baby, not the wife. i suggested putting gravy granules in her food to thicken up her shits but apparently that isnt even funny to fucking joke about. we dont need something to regulate her bowel movement, i need something to stop it though the best method ive discovered is to walk away when shes produces a weapon of noxious destruction and leave the wife to deal with it.

wank ad. wank idea. wank everything. i want to make every fucker associated with this pile of bollocks to eat so much of the crap that they drown in a sea of their own nestle induced shit.

the end.

Comment by andy@cynic

Like a superhero, he comes from nowhere, launches a devastating attack against the wrongdoers and then disappears into the night sky leaving us with one question, who was that caped crusader?

Comment by DH


Comment by DH


Comment by andy@cynic

Get it right Dave.

Comment by Billy Whizz

I find it interesting some brands seem to believe the older the audience, the more rational the communication.

I’m sure they’d claim it reflects their experience to see through “the marketing filter” but since when did it become law that the over 40’s are only attracted to the boringly functional?

Oh it’s an archetype. Of course.

Comment by Lee Hill

First Pete, now Lee.

This ranty period is very exciting – though I am sure you’re only doing it to take up the slack given Andy’s absence.

Comment by Rob

Andy’s comments are more solid now too.

Comment by toto

Rob’s over 40, look at him
Or perhaps not

Comment by northern

That’s a good point NP, I am over 40 and as soon as I remembered that, I suddenly realised I was wrong to criticise this ad because on a second viewing, I realised it spoke to me in a way that was uncanny in its resonance.

Now I have to go, I’ve got to nip to the shops to get me some of that fine poo inducer.

Comment by Rob

Don’t talk to me about bodily functions. I’m playing nurse to three fucking vomiting,shitting weapons of mass extretion.
I’m so tired I thought this post made sense.

Comment by northern

That is super, super tired.

Comment by Rob

Activia in the UK kept going on about bloating for years. I thought it was a lot of hot air frankly.

Comment by Rob Mortimer (Not a fake Andy)

Boom Tish.

At least bloating is a bit more sensitive than BOWEL MOVEMENT – but then maybe Millward Brown felt Asia needed a more descriptive ad because the people here are obviously less advanced than their Western counterparts, despite being instrumental in many of the things that form the foundation for civilization.

Comment by Rob

‘If it’s not blatantly obvious how will they ever understand it?!’


Comment by Rob Mortimer (Not a fake Andy)

Hey Rob, I’m a Brazilian planner and read your blog on a daily basis. Even though I agree with most things you say, I’ve never dared to comment, well, up till now. I recently worked on a business pitch for Danone’s Activia and out biggest challenge was being able to talk about constipation to our own workers, literally, they’d hear about Activia and get the hell out of there before we started talking about it, all you have is my word but I guess that proves your point that talking straight up about “getting you shitting like crazy” is probably not the best way to run this kind of campaign. If you’re wondering what we did, out reasearch found out much of constipation was related to stress and emotional unbalance, as problems kept adding up, well, you know what else kept on adding up… the same was true for when girls finally got their intestines working: the felt better, lighter and happier. We tried to run the entire campaign based on the metaphor of releasing the bad things which accumulate throughout woman’s day(traffic, bills, boss, period, call-centre people, boyfriend’s friends, etc) in order to star building empathy so that girls could trust Activia in a private channel to help them out with their digestive issues. We lost the pitch, maybe for reasons other than strategy, but if I had the chance go back and start over, I’d probably choose the same path again.

Vitor Amos

Comment by Vitor Amos

Hello Vitor and welcome. I’m sure now you’ve lost your comment virginity, you’ll realise coming on here is nothing special and you’ll go off and do something much more interesting instead.

That aside, thank you for the background on the product, I’m glad there is some validity in what I’m saying – for once.

Is the work you’ve done available to see?

I once had a campaign for a heamorroids where the idea [at least the one I told the creatives, rather than the client] was “life’s better without pains in the arse” and we basically went away trying to annoy traffic wardens. I don’t know why I’m telling you this because [1] it has nothing to do with what this post – or you – are saying and [2] your idea is based on sensitivity whereas mine was nothing more than a childish schoolboy prank.

Anyway, great to have you comment, please come back again sometime soon.


Comment by Rob

Yeah, I suppose there’s no issue showing you the work now, just give me your e-mail and I’ll be glad to show what we proposed. Also, this was a social media pitch, so don’t expect the bigass 60” commercial, but I think you’ll enjoy it nonetheless.

Comment by Vitor Amos

I had a curry last night.
Made me shit but tasted great.
Fuck you nestle acti-v.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Made you shit but tasted great? I hope you mean tasted great but made you shit or you’ll need more than colgate to improve your breath.

Comment by DH

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