01 August 2006


Once upon a time, it was merely a song by The Jesus and Mary Chain (later covered by The Pixies). Then, it became a rather bleak film about a young gay Greek-Australian man. Six years later, it was a considerably more intriguing, yet even darker film about Turks living in Germany.

Now, it's something you APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD!

I first saw this commercial last week. It popped up at the end of Jeopardy--you know, that run-through of brief commercial-lettes for the show's sponsors that appear between Final Jeopardy and the closing credits. Amused and a little frightened, I nearly choked on my turkey dog as it whizzed on by. It's a minimalist masterpiece--a mantra, eight words inexplicably repeated three times by an obnoxiously perky female voiceover. She then repeats the product name once more and signs off by letting us know that it is "available without a prescription at retailers nationwide".

However, she regrets to explain exactly what the hell the product is. We see an apparently hypnotized, possibly lobotomized Teri Hatcher impersonator incessantly rubbing what resembles a glue stick back and forth across her forehead, and that's it. The altogether bewildering spot feels like it was made by someone who was taught how to properly make a television commercial, but had never actually seen one.

I couldn't find a website for HEAD ON! (which is essentially a "headache gel": an alternative to Tylenol, perhaps?), but I'm far from the first person to write or talk about its bizarre, low-rent marketing campaign. My god, it even has its own Wikipedia page. And a parody. Or two.

I just don't know how I subsisted for so long without seeing this strange, maddening, wonderful ad.

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