Have you seen the latest ads for Botox? The tag line is “freedom of expression…” The ads go on to say “Don’t hold back! Express it all!” The copy writers certainly don’t hold back on the exclamation points!!

The not-so-subtle subliminal message is “despite what has been reported in the press and on blogs by patients (see “Botox Banality Not a Boon for TV Sitcoms“), use of Botox does not limit your range of facial expressions.” To prove the point, ads like the one shown here feature a woman in several different poses, presumably showing a range of impressions.

Pretty impressive evidence, wouldn’t you say?

I have tried to fathom the thoughts of the woman in the ad and put these in thought balloons superimposed on the ad (see image). I think I captured the essence of these expressions. Don’t you agree? BTW, feel free to suggest your own thought balloons in comments to this post and I will create new graphics that incorporate the best.

Carefully Wrought Bullshit
These new Botox ads, aside from being reminder ads that are frowned upon by responsible pharmaceutical marketers, are examples of “carefully wrought bullshit,” in the words of Harry G. Frankfurt, author of the tongue-in-cheek book entitled “On Bullshit.”

According to Frankfurt, “the realms of advertising and of public relations, and the nowadays closely related realm of politics, are replete with instances of bullshit so unmitigated that they can serve among the most indisputable and classic paradigms of the concept.”

I have devised a Pharma Marketing BS MeterTM, which rates the BS level of DTC ads. On the left is the BS Meter for these Botox ads.

What’s your rating of the BS level of these ads? Take my little survey and let me know. P.S. Don’t forget to submit your thought balloons in the comments section. Thanks!

Compared to other DTC ads, what’s the level of BS in Botox ads?
Very High
Somewhat High
Somewhat Low
Very Low