Ad Nut
Jul 19, 2019

No thanks, Panadol, let's not 'rethink care' together

How about you just cure my headache?

Maybe it's the lack of sleep and the headache Ad Nut is suffering from, but a new campaign for Panadol in Australia has really raised Ad Nut's hackles today.

The brand seems convinced that people want to take part in a conversation—with Panadol—about their overall health. And the result is the annoyingly patronising TVC above, via WhiteGrey Sydney.

Suffice to say, Ad Nut doesn't need GSK Consumer Healthcare's advice about working too hard, or its suggestion to eat more salad, sit on a yoga ball, take a self-care day, play with offspring, or get busy with Ad Nut's significant other.

Ad Nut needs some pain relief, at a reasonable price, when it's required. And that's it. Kthanksbye.

The company actually explains what's going on rather more clearly in a press release. The campaign, we're told, was "inspired by the behavioural insight that Australians are looking for more holistic ways to manage their pain relief without relying on pills alone".

Uh-oh! That can't be good for a purveyor of pain-relief pills. But no fear, this "insight" presented "an enormous opportunity to become part of a broader pain conversation by proving [Panadol's] commitment to offer consumers support and pain relief beyond the pill".

As Chad Mackenzie ECD, whiteGREY Sydney puts it:

Challenging the way Australians treat, prevent and deal with pain is a bold conversation for Panadol. It positions them as a brand that can empower Aussies with tools, advice and initiatives to help them conquer all forms of pain. It’s about encouraging Australians to rethink how they care for themselves, suggesting that every positive change—no matter how small—can make a difference.

Now Ad Nut feels nauseated in addition to having a headache. Thank goodness caring brands like Panadol are around to help people rethink how they care for themselves! Gosh, without Panadol to suggest it, no one would ever think about making positive changes in their lives.

Except that, according to you, they already have been thinking about that stuff—remember that amazing "behavioural insight" you discovered? So if people really are striving to take fewer pills, then they're already engaged in a broader conversation about their overall health, and you haven't been invited. So trying to butt in on that "conversation" now is lame, especially when it's done with such an insufferable tone.

Anyway, Ad Nut would contend that people are still going to reach for pain relief when they need it. So why not just calm down a bit, and spare us the "conversation", eh? Advertise to keep your name and your legacy of trustworthiness out there. And wait for people to reach for you when they need you, like Ad Nut is about to do right now.  

For the record, the fully integrated campaign launches this week and includes TV, online video, collateral, website, PR, social and shopper marketing. The ‘Let’s Rethink Care’ campaign will "grow and evolve through 2020" across OOH, cinema and radio, according to the agency.


Strategy & Creative Lead Agency – whiteGREY
Chad MacKenzie – National ECD
Tintin Ghosh – Creative Director
Misa O’Connell – Senior Copywriter
Jerome Gaslain – Senior Art Director
James Keeler – Chief Strategy Officer
Georgie McGarr – Group Director
Sophie Turner – Account Director

Media Agency – Publicis
Alison Jones – Group Business Director
Alex Hudson – Digital Manager
Kayte Holmes – Account Director

PR – Edelman
Fern Canning-Brook – Managing Director
Rachel Winter – Senior Account Director
Maaike Dijkstra – Account Manager
Emma Bedson – Account Manager
Eliza Laurence-Chenu – Assistant Account Executive

Social – Weber Shandwick
Mollie Fearnon – Senior Social Strategist
Helen Wallace – Content Developer

Shopper – Geometry
Mark Hutton – Senior Account Director

Digital – Wunderman Thompson
Kirsty Angus – Group Engagement Lead

Director – Sweatshop
Zoe McIntosh

Photography – Louis & Co
Dick Sweeney

Production – Hogarth
Tracey-Lee Permall – Integrated Producer

Music & Sound – Smith & Western Sound
Dan Hickson – Executive Producer

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'.


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