It takes me a minute to become cognizant of my surroundings when I wake up in the morning. I generally stumble down the stairs with one eye still glued shut and feel my way into the kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee (grumbling the whole way about the horrible injustice of not having been served said cup of coffee in bed). Once the Keurig has mercifully filled my mug, I wander into the family room, sit on the sofa, and start to slowly sip the magic elixir until the miracle of caffeine graces me and makes me whole. It usually takes about four sips before the fog starts to clear.
About three sips into this morning’s cup, I was treated to a commercial for AndroGel.
Have you seen it?? Oh. My. GOD!! I had to rewind it three times just to make sure I was actually awake and not having some kind of bizarre SNL-skit dream!
I’ve seen commercials for Viagra and Cialis over the years and gotten a little chuckle out of their subtle messaging about ‘taking control’ and ‘being ready when the timing is right’. I will admit to having giggled like a 12-year old boy at the list of side effects that includes ‘blurred vision’ and ‘having an erection that lasts more than four hours’. I’m not proud.
But this a whole new ball game. This is not your father’s Erectile Dysfunction ad, people!
It appears that the people at AndroGel (most assuredly men) have decided to take it to a completely different level and go with an approach that’s about as subtle as a brick to the head. Their website features images of an outdoorsy man crouching down and holding a big walking stick, and a man with a mustache staring off into space with his mouth hanging open in a way that immediately made me wonder where the hand that’s not pictured might be resting.
Their commercial opens with a man telling ‘the millions of men who have used AndroGel 1%’ that ‘there’s BIG news’. He’s standing next to a bottle of AndroGel Pump that’s about twice his size, with the word ‘pump’ featured right in the middle of the screen. He goes on to talk about the wonders of the product while the camera pans up the giant pump bottle and workers move oversized words back and forth on the screen.
The best part – and by ‘best’, I mean ‘most horrifying’ – is when the side effects guy lists the warnings…ahem:
‘Women and children should avoid contact with application sites.’
Wait…what?? Women and children can’t touch it, but men are supposed to slather it all over themselves??
‘Discontinue AndroGel and call your doctor if you see unexpected signs of puberty in a child or signs in a woman, which may include changes in body hair…’
Ummm….seriously??? Oh, hey! Your toddler’s voice is changing and your wife is growing a f*%king beard, but how’s your dick? Is it bigger? Did it work??
‘Serious side effects include increased risk of prostate cancer, lower sperm count, swelling of ankles, feet or body, enlarged or painful breasts, problems breathing during sleep, and blood clots in the legs.’
Because the aforementioned damage to your toddler and wife are more ‘inconvenient’ than ‘serious’.
The commercial ends with the guy saying, ‘What are you waiting for? This is BIG news!’ as he raises his arms up over his head to demonstrate how big ‘the news’ is.
You wish, buddy.
I’m disgusted. Maybe I’m just cranky. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m staring down the barrel at 50 and on the cusp of menopause, a condition that boasts a myriad of uncomfortable symptoms that pharmaceutical companies seem completely uninterested in tackling. Or maybe it’s because I can’t help but think about the millions of older women around the world who have spent a lifetime plucking, shaving, waxing, grooming, powdering, spraying, slicing, dicing, dancing, dressing up, dressing down, undressing, keeping their heels on, keeping their boots on, and contorting themselves as though they were auditioning for Cirque de Soleil in an effort to please their men. I mean, how PISSED must they have been when these products hit the market?? Here they were thinking they were finally going to get a well-deserved break; the dues they had paid over the years were going to pay off and they would be left in peace to read a book, sip a cup of tea, maybe watch a few Matlock reruns before bed. When, out of nowhere, these miracle pills are made available and their otherwise unindustrious husbands are now chasing them around the bedroom, wagging their new toy at them.
They’d probably wage jihad against the pharmaceutical companies…if they had the energy.