Have you seen the latest broadcast TV ads for AmbienCR with the rooster and tag line: “silence your inner rooster”?

Tonight, I saw the Sanofi-Aventis “Rooster Car Alarm Commercial,” one of several in a series of “unbranded” ads. These ads do not mention the brand, but promote the branded web site SilenceYourRooster.com. The image at the left is taken from this decidedly web noir site.

Thus begins another sleep aid campaign utilizing some kind of creature “spokesperson.” The AmbienCR rooster joins the Lunesta moth and the Rozerem beaver. The latter may have been retired by Rozerem — I haven’t seen a Rozerem ad in months. And the moth is no longer featured prominently in the Lunesta ads (see “New Lunesta Print Ad: 70% LESS Moth!“).

The campaign began with a bit of expensive buzz marketing with short TV ads that just showed the Web site URL with a voice offer reciting the tag line.

Sanofi-Aventis is also engaging in some inexpensive buzz marketing by uploading 6 different versions of these 15-second “rooster” commercials on its YouTube channel. [Whoops! I guess free buzz was not cheap enough — those clips on YouTube are no longer available I am told by Chris Truelove. Have no fear, you may still be able to find them here.]

There, you can see: Rooster Drum Set Commercial, Rooster Basketball Commercial, Rooster Hair Dryer Commercial, Rooster Car Alarm Commercial, Rooster Vacuum Commercial, Rooster Pay Phone Commercial.

My favorite is the basketball rooster.

Which Rooster Ad Do You Like Best/Dislike Least?
Pay Phone
Hair Dryer
Vacuum Cleaner
Car Alarm

Politically Incorrect?
Each ad is gender-specific (except for the rooster, which I presume is always a cock): the sports (basketball), car and drummer roosters awaken male sleepers, whereas the vacuum cleaner, hair dryer, and phone roosters awaken female sleepers. The idea is that worry about our daily activities keeps us awake at night. Showing men worried about sports, cars, and creative outlets and women worried about vacuum cleaners and hair dryers is a bit politically incorrect, wouldn’t you say?

[Here’s a contest: Come up with your own version of a politically incorrect AmbienCR rooster ad and submit it as a comment to this post. In fact, this would be a great contest for S-A to sponsor via YouTube if it really wanted to use social media marketing. What kind of rooster, for example, would keep Barack Obama or John McCain awake at night? Or other celebrities like Michael Phelps. Using celebrities in the rooster ads — another great idea for S-A!]

The pay phone rooster sketch doesn’t quite fit into this theme. Who worries about getting anonymous phone calls? Perhaps this is a subtle statement about women as victims? I could be reading too much into this, but that’s why DTC (direct-to-consumer) advertising is so interesting — it’s a great pasttime for us amateur psychoanalysts.

I do not know if ALL of these 15-second unbranded ads have actually been aired on network TV yet (maybe a different one will be aired each night this week). All of them were uploaded to YouTube a mere 3 days ago.