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Tylenol focuses on doll-emmas

Even a doll can have real-life discomfort in a Canadian ad for new Extra Strength Tylenol Menstrual. Posters created by Saatchi & Saatchi, Toronto, are up in 300-plus women's washrooms around the country. Under the doll is the word "Bloated?" in puffy letters and a picture of the product. Another poster, over the headline "Irritable?" shows Raggedy Ann kicking Raggedy Andy in the crotch. "It's part of the overall strategy to recognize the market among the younger crowd as they become brand loyal," says SVP-CD Henry Wong. "The best place to hit them is not in the traditional media." It's the first time Saatchi has gone to the bathroom with ads for the Johnson & Johnson pain reliever brand. Copywriter on the campaign is Josh Rachlis and art director Lisa Ruben -- they deny the ad concept was inspired by their work relationship. And a note to protective parent Mattel: That's NOT Barbie in the "Bloated?" ad. The doll "was deliberately chosen to be generic rather than just going after Barbie," Wong says. "We never intended to copy it." But she still might turn the head of Ken.

Nader group asks: Is no medium rare?

Ralph Nader consumer group Commercial Alert wants to know just how far agencies will go. In a bid to suggest advertisers have gone over the edge in commercialism, the group wrote to 10 big ad agencies asking if there are any venues they would consider off limits for ads. In the letter, the group's director, Gary Ruskin, suggests Americans "feel assaulted" by ads. "Advertisers are engaged in a relentless battle to claim every waking moment," the letter says. It also asks whether churches, the U.S. flag, schools, hospitals, body parts, national monuments, religious ceremonies or outer space should be off limits as potential ad media. Rhetorical question, right?

Lube ads off-tune but on target

Jiffy Lube International is tickled with the response to recently unveiled national radio spots. The Richards Group, Dallas, has remorseful drivers who didn't take their cars to Jiffy Lube singing off-beat, off-tune lyrics to classics such as "The Blue Danube Waltz." The client got messages from 38 listeners, including 35 e-mails, applauding the funny spots. Although Jiffy Lube says it's too early to see an impact on business, about a third of the respondents said they'll go to the quick-change chain because of the commercials.

A new way for e-mail to be scent

Italian master perfume maker Lorenzo Dante Ferro says he's developing a technology that will allow cybersmell -- scented e-mail. "This is definitely the first time anyone has tried this," Ferro asserts. "The possibilities are unlimited." The project involves developing hardware including tiny rechargeable scent cartridges that will combine in different proportions to produce a wide range of smells. Special software would allow senders to pick from a menu of scent options. Ferro says the idea has commercial potential as well, using scents to create specific moods to make potential customers more attentive. He predicts: "With the right effort, these cartridges will become as common as speakers on computers."

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