Pom Wonderful spoofs health scares in campaign featuring man impaled by dolphin
- Pom Wonderful launched a multichannel campaign, titled "Dolphin," that represents its largest digital spend to date, a news release announced. The ads star Jeff Kowalczyk, a fictional character living with a live dolphin impaled through his chest that symbolizes a "health scare." Messaging centers around how people often wait until they have a health issue to take their health seriously.
- The spot shows Kowalczyk carrying out his daily routines, like riding a bike, exercising and working at the office, with the dolphin flopping around. The spot touts the health benefits of the brand's pomegranate products, pokes fun at pharmaceutical ads and uses humor to discuss how people should handle a potential health scare. The concept was inspired by Pom Wonderful research revealing that consumers often incorporate the brand's beverages into their lifestyles after receiving a wake-up call about their health.
- The campaign includes a multimillion-dollar media plan targeting health-conscious consumers, along with PR and social media. The TV spot will be shown during relevant shows like "The Doctors" and "Dr. Oz." Online content will be published at WebMD, CNN Health and Fox News Health and the brand will run placements on screens in doctors' offices.
Marketers often use humor and satire to grab consumers' attention and create something memorable, and Pom Wonderful's absurdist campaign about a man impaled with a dolphin certainly does that while also touting a message of health consciousness. Consumers are particularly concerned about the precarious state of healthcare in the U.S. at the moment, and Pom plays into those worries but with a lighter touch by ribbing things like pharmaceutical ads, which often feature dull voice-overs that rattle off a long list of a drug's benefits and side effects.
With placement during daytime TV shows and at doctors' offices, the brand might be targeting older consumers, who are often overlooked by marketers but watch more TV than younger generations and potentially make more visits to the doctor's office. The brand is touting its own health benefits, mentioning its products' richness in antioxidants and potassium; however, highlighting health in its marketing has gotten Pom Wonderful in trouble before.
In 2010, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against the brand for deceptive advertising after Pom Wonderful claimed that multimillion-dollar research revealed that its products could prevent heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction, according to Food Dive. The commission later ruled that the brand didn't have sufficient research to support those claims, and that ruling has been upheld despite Pom Wonderful's appeal.