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I still get the print version of Pharmaceutical Executive magazine. These days the mag is much thinner than in its glory years – only 60 pages, counting the front and back covers. At least 25% of those pages are full-page ads and another 8 are sponsored content.

A couple of full-page ads captured my attention, which I suppose mean that they were successful. One was the Palio Ignited ad shown here.

It glorifies the agency’s “rebel” nature by using the image of a Molotov Cocktail. Instead of an ordinary bottle, the explosive device uses an erlenmeyer flask – didn’t think I knew that, huh? – to symbolize, I suppose, scientific research.

The agency calls this “beautifully disruptive,” but the symbolism conjures up in my mind images of destruction (e.g., ISIS).

Is being disruptive destructive or is it creative? Obviously, Palio wants you to believe the latter; i.e., that they have “revolutionary ideas.”

If they wanted to convey better the notion of disruption, they should, IMHO, have emulated the type of full-page ad used by Saint Joseph University.

How so?

Saint Joe’s ad was a stiff cardboard insert that “disrupted” my ability to peruse the content. When I started flipping the pages, the ad popped open and it was hard to lay the magazine flat on the table to read any other page while eating breakfast. Damn you Saint Joe!

Hey, you with that Molotov Cocktail! Watch out!

Molotov Cocktail #FAIL!