Pharmaceuticals Ads

Zyrtec’s “Love the Air”

Now that spring is around the corner, you might be noticing that there are a lot of allergy medicine commercials.  These commercials tend to pull you in because they tell you that if you take their product that you’ll be able to go enjoy the outdoors without allergy symptoms.  A relatively new product on the market is Zyrtec.  Zyrtec’s main competitors are Allegra and Claritin.  However, Zyrtec typically targets Claritin as not as good as Zyrtec, because Zyrtec works faster and longer.  What sets Zyrtec apart from Allegra is that after taking their product the people don’t become perfect superstars, as they are depicted in Allegra’s commercials, but rather just the imperfect person they were before they had allergies. This gives Zyrtec a realistic image.

Zyrtec’s current platform is “Muddle No More.”  Their commercials consist of people having interruptions to their daily lives due to issues from their allergies.  Some examples of these problems are sneezing so a crowd clears around them, or carrying around a pocketful of tissues. After taking Zyrtec, these people are able to go about their day without “muddling” through their days.

Another catchphrase that Zyrtec uses is “Love the Air.” The commercial claims that if you take their product it allows you to love the spring air, instead of hide away from it because of your allergies.  This is where we begin to see “greenwashing.”  Most scenes in the commercials are people doing a variety of activities outdoors.  This is what is known as nature as a backdrop.  Zyrtec draws their audience in by showing fun activities that are in nature that aren’t disrupted by allergies.  Having this image with the motto “Love the Air” makes Zyrtec look like a natural product that will get you outdoors.  But there are some things that Zyrtec doesn’t tell you.

First, everyone in the commercial looks like they can go all day outdoors.  However, Zyrtec causes drowsiness.  A trick to keep in mind while watching allergy commercials, is the more powerful and longer lasting an allergy medicine is, the more drowsy they make you.  For instance, Claritin might not be strong and as long lasting, but it is the least drowsy.  On the other hand, Benadryl, which helps with more severe allergies, could knock you out for the day.  Zyrtec is on the stronger side of this spectrum, and therefore drowsiness is a big side effect.  It’s a little hard to love the air, when you’re only half there.

Second, Zyrtec doesn’t talk about how their product is made and how it can affect the air that it’s asking you to love.  Zyrtec doesn’t give any information about how their products are made.  For all we know, Zyrtec can be made in huge smoke stack factories, or be dumping chemicals into a nearby lake. Or it could be a very green factory.  Either way, it isn’t easy for the public to be able to find out this information, so it makes it more suspicious that it’s most likely the former.

Zyrtec is also made in plastic bottles.  Although Zyrtec’s bottles can be recycled, there is no information about how the bottles are affecting the environment.  Recycling efforts are increasing around the nation and starting to get better.  However, if Zyrtec wants to claim themselves as helping people love the air, they should be making efforts, outside of the allergy medication, to make the air loveable.

So remember the next time you watch an allergy medication commercial, to not get sucked into their outdoor loving image.  Make sure to ask questions about how these product could possibly be hurting our outdoors.

Critique by Shannon Kieburtz