Dada Ads: Nihilism and Nonsense
The apotheosis of Dada Advertising was the Viagra commercial featuring a character borrowed from a Marlboro cigarette ad.
VISUAL: Photographed in murky greens and blacks, it opens with Marlboro Man (MM) in his pickup hauling a horse van and heading for an assignation. Suddenly the wheels of his truck are spinning uselessly in deep mud. On screen in huge type:
THIS IS THE AGE OF KNOWING HOW TO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN
MM opens the doors of the horse van and suddenly a pair of horses is pulling the pickup and the van across the muddy patch. Seconds later MM is back in the driver's seat, towing his horse van and arriving at the house where he will keep his appointment.
MUSIC: Soft rhythmic foxy trot.
MALE VOICE OVER: (with disclaimer in italics)
"You've reached the age where you don't back down from a challenge. This is the age of knowing how to make things happen. So why would you let something like erectile dysfunction get in your way? Isn't it time you talked to your doctor about Viagra. Twenty million men already have. With every age comes responsibility. Ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex. Do not take Viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain, as it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. Side effects may include headache, flushing, upset stomach and abnormal vision. To avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. Stop taking Viagra and call your doctor right away, if you experience a sudden decrease or loss of vision or hearing. This is the age of taking action. Viagra. Talk to your doctor. See if America's most prescribed E.D. treatment is right for you."
Of the 58-second spot, the narrator spends 22 seconds—more than one-third of the spot—on the disclaimers that threaten all kinds of health problems if MM ingests Viagra and goes through with his tryst.