I’ve just added a new slide to my “Gallery of Drug Advertising Mascots” PPT presentation: “Irritabelle,” the Viderzi “irritable (bowel) sidekick.” Viberzi is a new drug, approved for the treatment of IBS-D (Irritable Bowel Syndrome With Diarrhea).

The character is played by a real person dressed in a flesh-colored body suit imprinted with both large and small intestines. The ad was created by Arnold Worldwide for Allergan, a company I’ve written about in the past (see here).

Talk about irritable! Irritabelle enjoys nothing more than preventing her alter-ego IBS-D sufferer (no name given) from enjoying her life. In comparison, Xifaxan’s “Bubble Guy” is a joy.

Poor IBS-D sufferer can’t go out tonight because of abdominal pain brought to life by Irritabelle – a “kooky colon” who makes life difficult for her owner/alter-ego. “Who makes the decisions around here?”, Irritable asks her alter-ego and answers “It’s me!”

It’s amazing how many buzzwords creative ad directors use to describe their work. Click on “Read more” for some insights by Arnold executive creative director Gary Scheiner.

  • “By creating a manifestation of IBS-D symptoms using a real person, we were able to show the changing dynamics of their relationship [to the condition] more effectively and meaningfully.”
  • “We wanted this work to be highly relatable and effective in engaging patients, and to motivate them to take action.” 
  • “We intentionally parodied some of the category conventions like walking on the beach or riding bikes… Done with Irritabelle, those activities become fresh and memorable.”

Source: “Ad of the Day: Meet Irritabelle, Your Irritable Bowel Sidekick, in Campy Ads for Viberzi

View the commercial inserted below and judge for yourself how “effective,” “meaningful,” “relatable,” “memorable,” and “effective” it is.

At least  Ilana Becker, the actress who portrays Irritabelle in the ads, has a real world viewpoint: “I wanted this job from the moment I laid eyes on the copy. I remember thinking how much fun it would be to be able to bring Irritabelle to life.”