Pom Wonderful produced a video spot that pokes fun at the pharmaceutical industry by claiming that pomegranate juice helped a man impaled by a dolphin.
“Impaled by a Dolphin and Better Than Ever” tells the story of Jeff Kowalczyk, a fictional man that was impaled by a dolphin but saw it as a wake-up call to get healthy. Prior to the “accident,” Jeff claims he was overweight and didn’t exercise, but something like [a dolphin sticking out of your chest] puts things into perspective.
Focusing on health benefits, this campaign marks Pom Wonderful’s largest digital spend to date, with a multimillion-dollar media plan. According to the company, the spots will be shown in contextually relevant TV shows like The Doctors and Dr. Oz, online sites such as WebMD and on screens in doctors’ offices across the country.
The “Impaled By a Dolphin” ad is presented in the style of a pharmaceutical commercial, down to the subtitle disclaimers, upbeat music and generic activities that somehow represent living with an ailment but being able to ignore it thanks to the cure being marketed.
Jeff is shown going about his daily life as if nothing happened, working, making dinner and riding his bike—all with a live dolphin sticking out of his body.
“These spots poke fun at mundane pharmaceutical industry advertisements and use humor to talk about what people typically want to avoid—what they should do after a health scare,” Pom Wonderful said in a press release.
In addition to using tongue-in-cheek humor to sell its juice, “Impaled by a Dolphin” may also be a playful jab at deceptive health marketing. Last week, the US Supreme court refused to review a court ruling that found Pom Wonderful guilty of making deceptive health claims. Claims included marketing pomegranate juice as being able to treat, prevent or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction.
Despite the Supreme Court’s denial, Pom Wonderful’s dolphin spot links its pomegranate juice to health benefits such as verbal memory performance, brain activity and maintaining post-exercise arm strength, as claimed by two preliminary studies mentioned at the end. Links and details about the studies were not released in the ad or its video description.