Character: Jublia Toenail Prizefighter
Toenail fungus is pretty gross, and so it seems to follow that Jublia's Big J toenail boxing character is a bit unsavory, too.
When the purple-hat wearing big toe debuted during the 2015 Super Bowl, an AOL story claimed that "Jublia quite literally put its grossest foot forward during its Super Bowl ad, in which a cartoon foot hit the field to tackle its bitter enemy, toenail fungus. It was certainly a far cry from the mix of racy and emotional ads we all expected, and the fungus among us got people talking--and gagging--on Twitter."
That consumer disdain showed in the ratings, with the ad ranking as the second-worst in the game, according to USA Today's Ad Meter, garnering only a 3.22 rating on its 1-10 scale.
The Valeant ($VRX) drug was approved last June; it was acquired by Valeant through its purchase of Dow Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2008. Big J made its debut in the first "Fight it, Don't Hide it" TV spot for the drug last fall. The $4.5 million one-spot Super Bowl ad then kicked off the ongoing 2015 campaign.
In the series of ads, Big J changes hats depending on the occasion, donning boxing headgear for the first fight, a helmet for Super Bowl football, a visor for tennis--which aired around the U.S. Open, featuring commentator ex-pro John McEnroe--and a top hat for post-Emmy TV commercials that also featured actor Mario Lopez.
Valeant declined to answer queries for this article, but EVP Ari Kellen spoke at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference before last year's Super Bowl, saying the drug is off to a great start with 150 reps directly working the brand, along with the DTC campaign. The marketing money will continue to flow "as long as the growth trajectory continues and the economic returns justify it," Kellen said at the conference.
Of course, turning off chip-and-dip eaters during the big game doesn't mean the Big J character hasn't done its job. Sales, as Kellen noted, have been brisk; Valeant quarterly reports show Jublia pulled in $270 million in revenue in the first three quarters of 2015. -- Beth Snyder Bulik
- read the AOL story
Valeant bets big on the Super Bowl with $4.5M toe-fungus ad
Emmy co-host Mario Lopez spotlights Valeant's Jublia on the red carpet