Actor Erik Fellows wanders through the desert without a care how the sun will damage his skin. Why? Because he has the anti oxidant power of POM Wonderful. Ahem.
Okay, let me say I have been a customer. I actually seed pomegranates every week and put them on my cereal (along with blueberries). I drink pomegranate juice. I do this because there is anecdotal evidence for prostate health. However, last week the FTC finally woke up to its responsibilities and came down on POM for what they said were unsubstantiated claims. And heaven knows, POM does do its best to have people believe that their product will help protect men from prostate cancer. That it's 40% as effective as Viagra. Well, I think Erik Fellows on my TV screen (or anywhere in my home) would obviate the need for Viagra.
Now that POM is having trouble with their health claims, they've created some videos that get to the sexual potency claims without saying anything directly. Though in one ad they allude to the fruit's mythical status as an aphrodisiac. They also allude to the claims they can't make by saying "backed by modern science," but they don't say what claim is being backed up. This is classic weasel wording.
When I first started as a copywriter, I remember working on Cascade dish detergent. You know, it gets dishes VIRTUALLY spotless. Not spotless, virtually spotless. Almost. Because they can't make the full claim legally. UNSURPASSED is another weasel work: it means that the product being sold is equal to the competition — it's a parity product. The POM videos are beautiful examples of weasel wording.
These videos are beautifully shot. They use mythic imagery and eroticism to make the emotional association to the claims they can no longer say legally. And I suspect if POM had introduced their product with these video spots they would have become award winners, and given POM a classy image. They may yet do so. The spots certainly have what it takes to win some awards.
But nowadays, I get Marco Polo brand pomegranate juice. It costs a lot less, and isn't as sweet. And I know that unlike Persephone, even though I consume hundreds of pomegranate seeds in a week, I'm no prisoner of Hades.
You can see the full POM ad below, and you can read about the FTC complaint against POM here.