Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Anti-Booze Pill Sold with Viral Soviet Vid

A friend of mine who knows I like old Soviet junk got really excited telling me all about this video a few weeks back. She was convinced it was some seriously cool real-deal stuff and started searching online for some way to buy it. (She drinks.)

(It's not like it's a huge problem or anything. She just goes out probably two or three times per week and usually has a pretty bad hangover the next day.)

(It's not like she's some raging wino, either. Although now that I think about it, I did once see her drink a bottle of scotch that had a pirate or sea captain on the label, but we've all had one of those nights. She's together. She's got a good job and a good relationship. She has a lot of good relationships. It's part of the reason why she goes out a couple times per week.)

(Ok, I just looked up the stats for what constitutes "binge drinking" if you're a woman, and I guess that means she binge drinks, which I guess makes her an alcoholic, but she's really obviously NOT an alcoholic, which I guess means that my point is that whoever comes up with the limits for bingeing and being an alcoholic seriously has no one to hang out with and must live in a place with no nightlife and winds up barfing like an SNL skit after half a glass of sherry.)


Because she was fired up about finding the pill in the video, she did her best to track it down online and figured out pretty quickly that the video was just part of a viral campaign. I wish I could tell you which one, but she hasn't answered my email, and googling the video's title isn't turning up a product name. I'm guessing the video's been rehosted since, which is why it's not pointing me at whatever they're selling.

Bottom line, though, the effort is pretty good. I like that they've distorted the film to make it look old. The uniform looks pretty authentic, and the scenery doesn't leap out at you as obviously being in Northern California or anything like that. Plus, it's interesting. I watched it all the way through, and if my friend hadn't told me about what her googling turned up, I probably would have googled myself (NO, NOT LIKE THAT, PERVERTS) and wound up finding the product too. By those standards, it's a good campaign. I get exposed to the product and have a decent time doing it. Plus, I did this all at work and got paid for it. Triple word score.

The video's got a few problems though.

First, I can't really tell if there's a cut scene or a wipe happening, but it seems like the soldier gets drunk INSTANTLY.

Second, the doctors had to be giving him PURE alcohol, which could always potentially just make him puke. If they wanted a control group, wouldn't they inject alcohol directly?

Third, they distorted the video pretty well, but the band on the right side is really regular. I think it's supposed to look like the ragged edge of an old film, but it seems like someone just slapped four photoshop filters onto the side of frames 1,2,3&4, repeat. It's cool, but kind of slick. Or maybe I'm talking out my ass.

Lastly (and this is the biggest one), they're running a test. A test where they get someone royally fucked up. A test where they get someone royally fucked up while he's standing behind a big wall. Then they hand him LIVE GRENADES. And ... stand there???

Maybe I'm not a good judge b/c I went into this one knowing it was fake, but even without knowing that, I think I would have still thought, "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TWO STANDING THERE FOR?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!" You've got a drunk who could pull the pin and drop the grenade, or pull the pin and pass out, or pull the pin and throw the grenade into the wall. The whole POINT of this exercise is that you've made this guy almost totally incapable of functioning AT ALL, and you've GIVEN HIM THINGS THAT BLOW UP.

If they'd just hopped back behind a blast barrier or something and watched through a slit where we could see them, it would have "sold" the video about 100x better.

As it is, though, it's still pretty cool.

The other two videos aren't nearly as good. The second one goes by in about 15 seconds, and the third one is about four minutes long and really boring. This one seems to be the one that really hit all its marks.


George F.K. said...

The pill is called "Spectab," which I take it you knew from the title of the Youtube. I did the same thing you did and Googled it. I think this is the actual page for the advertising campaign:


I can understand why you'd skim over it, though, because from just the initial Google blurb, it looks like a really dry marketing commentary. Still no idea how you order it, though. From that page, it looks like it's strictly a Polish market thing.

ex.contrail said...

i dont care how many zlotys or kopeks or whatever it costs, i would pay whatever it costs to ship a box of that shit to my house right now