Here in the comfortable confines of The Curmudgeon office, I may publicly state that I detest infomercials, but secretly I admire the “advertising business” side of them, the product ambush on your fears, insecurities, anxieties, too-small or too-large body parts, greed, hopes, and dreams. I have been known to become mesmerized by a particularly good one, and have watched some more than once. I never buy anything, but boy, do I ever want to.
And now comes the infomercial that was viewed as so offensive, it aired once and was pulled from the airways. I speak of Doc Bottoms Aspray (pronounced ay-spray). Apparently there was never a deodorant so strong, so smell-neutralizing, so safe, that it can be used on even your most intimate areas.
“Aspray goes where other deodorants can’t. Aspray your butt,” the announcer blusters. “Aspray under your arms. Aspray your feet. You can even Aspray your privates.” Just in case you haven’t gotten the idea, a woman is shown in a tight shot of her pelvic area crossing her legs when her hand enters the frame holding the can of Aspray, enticingly close to her coochie. (Of course, using the word “enticing” was a poor choice of words, knowing as we do that it has an odor problem.)
Were the producers serious? It certainly looks like it’s played for comedy. Let’s look at the included testimonial by “Larry F. ,” who tells us frankly that he’s “got odors in special places,” and after a bit of stuttering he clarifies: “My butt.” Larry’s performance is less than believable. In fact, it’s downright comedic, and suddenly we realize we are in an alternate universe where a Saturday Night Live parody has become reality, and the reality has become parody.
MSNBC aired the commercial once and removed it, but I am not offended by it. I think it is hysterically funny and entertaining, and now I have to buy some butt glue because I laughed my ass off. No, I think it is marketing genius all the way down to its name. Let’s face it, people aren’t going to call it ay-spray. They’re going to call it ass-spray. And there’s also the name “Doc Bottoms,” as in “your butt smells so bad you need a butt doctor.” The commercial would have been talked about anyway, but they’ve hit the mother lode: removed from the airwaves due to offensive content and well on it’s way to going viral on youtube.
As we say in the ad biz, “You can’t buy that kind of advertising.”