Maybe it's the recession. Maybe it's just more conservative times, but people may be taking it a little easier than in previous years when it comes to holiday overindulgence. Procter & Gamble's Pepto-Bismol is on the lookout for such "under-indulgers" and is instead encouraging people to live it up a little bit via a tongue-in-cheek marketing campaign.
The campaign, which includes a television commercial and a series of Web videos, stars comedic actor Ken Jeong, who is probably best known for his role as Senor Chang on NBC's "Community" (or the crazed mobster in "The Hangover"). In the videos (available on the brand's Facebook page), Jeong and two pink lab-suited assistants look to eradicate under-indulgence.
In the television commercial, for instance, Jeong crashes a boring holiday party, knocking partially filled plates out of people's hands and repopulating sparse party tables with giant meats, cheeses and cookies. "Together, we're going to eradicate under-indulgence once and for all," Jeong tells the camera. "And if you overdo it, Pepto-Bismol: got you covered."
"Ken fits perfectly with our witty brand character given his comedic background and increasing popularity onscreen," says Nathan Fox, brand manager for Pepto-Bismol at Procter & Gamble, in response to e-mailed questions.
A longer Web video, "Tummy Time," takes place in an under-indulger's stomach, which is -- as Jeong describes it -- "joyless" and "empty." When the under-indulger finally eats a couple of cookies (depicted as huge foam pieces that fall from the "sky") Jeong goes into action, spraying them with pink liquid. "And if you overdo it," he says, "choose Pepto-Bismol."
But the wit also extends to the brand's place in popular culture, he says. "Pepto has generated an incredible pop-culture relevance ranging from multiple references to our recognizable 'Pepto-Bismol Pink' color to inclusion in humorous news stories and social media conversations regarding upset stomach," Fox says. "This allows us to execute a tongue-in-cheek strategy."
In addition to Facebook and television, the campaign, created by Funnyordie.com, will also be supported through a YouTube channel and through extensive public relations, Fox says.