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Powdered vitamin drink Emergen-C is making its ad debut in Canada, with a colourful, cheery dose of germophobia.
A series of posters in the fruity colours of the fizzy drink's flavours depicts retro-style illustrations of characters needing a "Kapow" boost, either because of sickness or fatigue. They include Frank, a broad-chested mustachioed fellow whose "firm handshake wasn't firm enough to kill germs"; Louis, who would like to quit his cubicle gig but settles for a cure of the "afternoon slump"; and a variety of others who have been assailed by the germs rampant in everyday life, from the escalator to their children's day care.
It is a first for the product in Canada; while in the U.S., Emergen-C is known for ads starring Pixar-style animated characters, the brand was previously distributed here since 2002 without any advertising.
However, after Pfizer Inc. acquired the maker of Emergen-C, Alacer Corp., last February, the pharmaceutical giant decided to elevate it from a "niche brand" in the Canadian market.
The new work, by Toronto-based agency Juniper Park, launches on Monday with posters and murals in Toronto and Montreal. Online banner ads will follow later in the month, along with a revamped Canadian website.