Spot on strategy

I was going to write a news story about this video. But I can’t do it justice. Just watch it, if you dare.

You may not want colleagues looking over your shoulder while you do though.   

Grim but compelling, isn’t it?

It was created by Naked Communications Melbourne for men’s skin care range Oxy, which is managed by Mentholatum. Man sized problems indeed.

Horrific as it is, I bet it goes viral.

It takes in clips that already existed on YouTube. I’m never going to be able to listen to In The Hall Of the Mountain King again.

This is a great example of when great strategy does not demand a big budget solution.

As Naked’s Adam Ferrier puts it: “The idea came from the simple insight that guys like watching videos of guys squeezing big pimples. It speaks to our target much more authentically than the glossy, cheesy work of OXY’s big spending competitors. We believe this work will result in mass trial of the brand, and change consumer behaviour towards Oxy.”

Nice work. And by nice work, I mean, utterly foul work.

Tim Burrowes


  1. Rhys Edwards
    24 Jul 12
    10:47 am

  2. Thanks Burrowes, you ruined my raisin toast.

  3. Me
    24 Jul 12
    10:48 am

  4. Speechless

  5. Oscar
    24 Jul 12
    11:19 am

  6. Windex could also really mop up with content like this

    How does the IP licensing work, when other user’s videos are used, yet they’ve signed some IP rights over to YouTube?

  7. Brodie
    24 Jul 12
    11:26 am

  8. No. Words.

  9. mumbrella
    24 Jul 12
    11:26 am

  10. Fair use, I suspect Oscar.


    Tim – Mumbrella

  11. Shabbadu
    24 Jul 12
    11:27 am

  12. There is nothing more beautiful than the truth. Even when it’s shooting bloody pus in your face from the other side of the room. Great stuff.

  13. Rob R
    24 Jul 12
    11:52 am

  14. Wow, I have a feeling oxy wouldn’t have done much for any of those in the ad as a majority were cysts not pimples… 50 shades of f&*ked up!

  15. Adam Ferrier
    24 Jul 12
    12:02 pm

  16. Hi Oscar all contributers were contacted before hand and an agreement reached.

    Hi Shabbado love the quote.

  17. Copycat
    24 Jul 12
    12:03 pm

  18. There’s no “fair use” exemption under Australian copyright law, unless it is a news item and you use copyrighted material as part of your report.

  19. archie
    24 Jul 12
    12:16 pm

  20. sorry, i don’t get it

    what are Oxy products and why should i use them?

  21. Elle E
    24 Jul 12
    12:22 pm

  22. When I tried to recall the brand name I was unable. I think my body went into shock and then therefore short-term memory loss.

  23. OtherAndrew
    24 Jul 12
    12:23 pm

  24. @Adam Ferrier,

    Kudos to you sir – but then, we should probably expect that you’d have done the ‘right’ thing.

    FYI, I couldn’t bring myself to watch it. However, I’m going to suggest that being grossed out may be the most enduring association with the brand… I’m going to give you credit for considering this, so how did you come to decide that it was worth it?

  25. Anon
    24 Jul 12
    12:41 pm

  26. Shame it doesn’t educate consumers about what it is or does nor does it have a defined efficacy claim. It may drive sales… for the few who haven’t changed the channel… Let’s hope that it isn’t aired during MasterChef or any time remotely near dinner time for that matter…

  27. Jacqui
    24 Jul 12
    12:47 pm

  28. How many of the men in this video buy their own skin care products?

    Happy to be proven wrong but considering the core age group of men affected by acne, and interested in ‘gross-out’ content of this nature (older teens) I would assume it’s the mums? Not many doing their own grocery shopping I would think?

    Is the strategy to get these young men to ask their mums for this product by brand name?

  29. Kerri Parnell
    24 Jul 12
    1:07 pm

  30. Great ad! However as a doctor, I can say almost all of these ‘pimples’ are actually sebaceous cysts, for which no topical product will be effective.

  31. Alison_F
    24 Jul 12
    1:23 pm

  32. Completely revolting, ha! In fact…. I actually had no idea that men had such huge skin problems and have only ever thought that something popping and flying across the room was a myth!! Thanks for putting me straight… I think…

  33. Dan
    24 Jul 12
    1:28 pm

  34. Look out, here come the traditionalists.

    The ‘It’s not a 30 second ad or piece of direct mail with a formal call to action, so I don’t get it’ crowd sound scared and confused.

  35. Pimple Popper
    24 Jul 12
    1:42 pm

  36. I wish there was a thumbs up button so I could thumb up Kerri’s comment.

  37. Ben
    24 Jul 12
    2:05 pm

  38. Awesome – I can’t stop looking at those zit popping videos on Youtube..

  39. chris
    24 Jul 12
    3:25 pm

  40. Gold!

    And a Today show T at the end too… Karl Stefanovic would love it…

  41. Insight?
    24 Jul 12
    3:46 pm

  42. “The idea came from the simple insight that guys like watching videos of guys squeezing big pimples.”

    Really? Where did this so-called insight come from? Sounds like a pretty small niche of guys to me.

    Still, might get a bit of PR so I guess that’s better than nothing.

  43. Warhol
    24 Jul 12
    4:26 pm

  44. Pop Art.

  45. GP
    24 Jul 12
    4:43 pm

  46. @Insight? and @Jacqui – “The worlds biggest zit”

    – Most popular audience: “Female, 13-17; Male, 45-54; Male, 35-44”.

  47. TMI
    24 Jul 12
    6:59 pm

  48. Never mind the ad (which made me dry retch), WHO films themselves squeezing pimples and uploads it to youtube??!!!I I also pity the team who had to cut the footage….Work related post-traumatic stress disorder here they come!

  49. Ummm
    25 Jul 12
    4:36 pm

  50. “The simple insight that guys like watching videos of guys squeezing big pimples”… Is this an insight or just a boyish assumption? Dr Kerri makes a much more insightful observation here that these eruptions aren’t from pimples but from cysts. Kinda blows the whole proposition in their face doesn’t it?

  51. Ben
    25 Jul 12
    6:10 pm

  52. Thanks GP – loved that word’s biggest zit video..

    I don’t know why, but these videos are so compelling to watch …

    My favourite of the comments from Youtube for the video are

    “I found this hard to masturbate to”


  53. Doug
    30 Jul 12
    12:34 pm

  54. now if they could just get a kitten to play piano or actually squeeze a pimple, that would be YouTube gold!