Antiseptic as ice cubes? The buzz on a popular brand’s social media ad

August 2, 2019 - 7:16 PM
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Kori coffee
In a Japanese method of preparing iced coffee, strong brewed coffee or espresso is frozen into iced cubes. The cubes are then served in a a glass and milk is poured over it.
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An advertisement of a well-known antiseptic brand gained some attention online, particularly from a community of creatives who picked holes in the post’s execution.

The oral and nasal care line of Betadine shared a picture on its Facebook page that promoted its products for the mouth and throat.

It featured coffee ice cubes and highlighted the product specifically developed for the relief of sore throat, claiming it can cure the ailment caused by “cold coffee cravings,” among others.

While the caption provided a context, the social media ad itself opened discussions among Filipino creatives who offered their own insights about the message it was supposed to convey.

Make coffee ice cubes so you can avoid getting your iced coffee watered down. Avoid getting stuck with sore throat by…

Posted by Betadine Oral and Nasal Care on Friday, July 12, 2019

 

The social media caption of the ad reads:

“Make coffee ice cubes so you can avoid getting your iced coffee watered down. Avoid getting stuck with sore throat by getting rid of the germs that cause it with Povidone-Iodine (BETADINE®) Gargle & Throat Spray.”

Its copy of the ad, meanwhile, simply reads: “Cold coffee cravings cured.”

Concerns

The ad was shared in a local Facebook group of professional creatives who are mostly in the advertising industry.

The user asked the opinion of its members who initially thought the product was being advertised to be used as ice cubes for cold coffee.

Betadine has a distinct dark brown color that could be mistaken as coffee if one is not careful, although the former has a distinct smell.

“Without the accompanying caption, how are people supposed to know that Betadine is not actually telling us to put their products on iced coffee?” a former creative director said.

“First open ko, seryoso I thought ang Betadine ginagawang ice na,” another group member said.

Posted by Betadine Oral and Nasal Care on Friday, March 1, 2019

 

Others noted that the social media ad might encourage people to actually make ice cubes out of the product which could be “dangerous.”

“Nakakatawa pero delikado ito. ‘Pag may gumawa ng Betadine ice cubes at nilagay sa kape nila para matanggal ang sore throat dahil dito, kayo na mag-conclude,” a Facebook user wrote.

“For a moment, I misread Betadine as Benadryl, the cough syrup. This led me to conclude they were telling me to make ice cubes made of cough syrup, which is drug abuse on another level,” another one said.

Betadine is mainly used to treat bacterial infections. Its topical products cannot be consumed or swallowed since it might be harmful, according to an online drugs database.

Someone who claimed to understand the ad commented that it only needed to be improved in terms of execution.

“Gets ko (siya) but they could’ve been clearer with the caption… Not everyone gets that coffee irritates the throat, and even if they do, it’s not what we commonly link it to,” the Facebook user said.

“Good idea behind it, they could’ve worked on the execution more. Timing (wouldn’t) have been an issue, there was time to edit/think it through,” he continued.

Coffee does not generally cause sore throat but people with acid reflux might be advised to decrease its consumption.

A good advertisement, according to Forbes Magazine, is supposed to be memorable, must deliver a “personally meaningful message” and effectively communicate how the product can improve people’s lives, among others.