The NyQuil Ad that is Worth a Thousand Words


NyQuil always seems to be coming up with new and innovative ad campaigns, but this one is a reversion back to the basics. How effective is it exactly, you may ask? It depends on what aspect of this ad you are analyzing because it does some things right, and it also does some things wrong; however, in general I would say that this ad works quite well for their target audience.

The first aspects of any ad that must be examined are the physical ones. How is the ads placement? Arrangement? Lighting? Well, in this case, I would say the physical aspects of the ad have their highs and lows. The thing that struck me almost straight away was the lighting. This ad does a very good job with this, as it helps portray the story in a humorous fashion. In the light photo we can see the mom’s smiling face getting her kids ready for the day. It’s cute, really, but as we transition down it can be gathered that this scene was simply just a facade by an overtired but determined mother. Although I cannot relate to this, for some it is a very common order of events, which which means that the ad does a good job of being relatable. Another good aspect of the ad is the color. It seems like warm and cold colors in the ad would clash, but

Up till this point, it’s been solely good things about this ad, however there are some things that this ad does not take advantage of. In this case, the primary one to mention would be arrangement. The mom’s face is nearly cut off, the logo is in the bottom left, and the whole picture is almost too much to take in at once. Another thing to address is the fact that the slogan is rather hard to read or even distinguish from the body copy; although, I feel like this might have been on purpose. The redeemable parts of it would be the product in the bottom right, and the text at the top is an honorable mention. Simply put, the ad doesn’t flow as well as it could; however, I think they were going for more of a story-like transition than an easy flowing ad, in which case they did alright.

Enough talk about the physical aspects. Let’s get into the emotional appeals and effects of this ad. One thing I think this ad does great is tying its USP, target audience, and emotional appeal together in one. So far, this is one of the best I’ve seen in this instance. The target audience is obviously moms with many children who just so happen to most likely be overworked with their kids and need sleep, but also love their kids. Those last two things are the USP and the appeals respectively. To put it simply, the unique selling proposition of this product is that it will get you sleep no matter how hectic the day was, and the two appeals being used here are the need to nurture and the need for sleep. All of these things tie into the highly relatable story of the ad, and I think they did exceedingly well here. I’m sure that if I were to show this ad to my mom, she would comment on how empathetic she feels towards the mom in the picture. A plus!

Reflecting on our analysis, although this ad has its downsides, it does many things well and makes an impact on the audience that they were looking to target. The thing that cannot be stressed enough here is that the ad is relatable by the use of countless tactics, and the USP fits in quite nicely. All ads should strive to do this because, to be honest, who really wants an ad that cannot be related to? After all, humans are emotional creatures who act and think anything but logically, so the more the ad influences our feelings, the more successful it is as a whole.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Peter Foley’s story.