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Advertising / HeadOn

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A "medical" product known for its annoyingly simple commercial. Literally, the entire commercial was as follows:

HeadOn, apply directly to the forehead.
HeadOn, apply directly to the forehead.
HeadOn, apply directly to the forehead.
HeadOn is available without a prescription at retailers nationwide.

The notorious advertisement, which first aired in June 2006, stemmed from Better Business Bureau objections to the earlier ads' claims of "fast, safe, effective" headache relief.

Sold as a "homeopathic remedy", the product is actually a wax stick. The only other ingredients are two types of poisonous flowers and a carcinogen, but don't be concerned; they are diluted to parts per trillion. You probably encounter higher doses of things sitting on your couch breathing.

Has nothing to do with The Jesus and Mary Chain song of the same name or the seventh installment of Twisted Metal.


Tropes present:

  • Beige Prose: What does this product do? It's an Enforced Trope: Since it's just a stick of wax that has absolutely nothing clinically proven to cure anything, they are not legally allowed to say that it does anything at all.
  • Broken Record: HeadOn, apply directly to the forehead.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: HeadOn, apply directly to the forehead.
  • Exact Words: How they were able to get around the FCC's rules for making medical claims. Notice they just said "Apply directly to forehead", not "...and if you do that it will have any actual results!"
  • Madness Mantra: Needless to say, this commercial drove a lot of people insane.
  • Magic Feather: If you're susceptible to the placebo effect, maybe this product might work for you. However, given you've probably just read this very page debunking the product, that might still apply anyway. The human mind is funny, isn't it?
  • Advertisement:
  • Our Lawyers Advised This Trope: The unusual format of the ad was caused by obligations not to claim that HeadOn actually worked.
  • Our Slogan Is Terrible: Later iterations of the commercial, probably aware of its Memetic Mutation status, had it humorously interrupted by a spokeswoman who complained about how annoying the commercial was— but she still loved the product!
  • Placebo Effect: The only way possible for this product to have had any medical efficacy.
  • Rule of Three: The announcer says "HeadOn, apply directly to the forehead" three times.
  • Self-Deprecation: Eventually they wised up to the mass's opinions about the commercial and had it get cut off for someone to come in and point out how annoying they are, but still commending the product.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: The ad repeats to apply the product directly to the forehead without taking into consideration that perhaps just saying it once might work just as well.
  • What Were They Selling Again?: Odds are, if you didn't read the description for the page, you'd have no idea of what HeadOn actually is. Besides the fact that it's applied directly to the forehead. Given that it's an inert stick of wax, that was probably intentional.


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