Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lysol "Bacteria Bathtub"

See the commercial here.

Synopsis: As the next installment in Lysol's award-winning series, "Why Mommy Doesn't Live Here Anymore," a deeply troubled, fantasy-prone woman, teetering on the edge of a complete psychotic breakdown after an unsuccessful attempt to regain custody of her children, prepares someone else's lost little boy for a bath in a Pier 1 showroom, then hallucinates that the display tub has been taken over by terrifying micro-monsters, before security guards forcibly escort her out of the store.

Typical immaculate, exquisitely-appointed kids' bathroom

That's odd; I don't recall chortling demons being there before ...

No -- don't open it! For the love of God, don't -- !

"This is where those teens disappeared ten years ago!"

Message: Only Lysol knows what evil lurks in the hearts of moms.

Gesticulating phantasmic bacteria (not pictured: your sanity)

Subliminal Message: You can clean your bathtub, but you'll never be able to wipe away the black mark on your soul. Still, a clean tub's pretty good.

Ready to serve all of your pathological scrubbing needs

Memorable Moment: The imperceptibly soap-stained bottom of the bathtub is revealed to be a teeming tableau of unspeakably nasty creatures.

Photo courtesy of CDC

Where's your Messiah now?

Another fact: you're a stark, raving lunatic.

Disturbing Aspect: This woman somehow escaped from the mental hospital.

Luckily, the kid left a trail of talcum powder for rescuers

Burning Questions: Was it really necessary for Lysol to reassure viewers of this commercial that it's a "dramatization?" Since, in reality, bacteria are microscopic, isn't it likely that if there are any at all, there are far more than mere "thousands?" Isn't it discriminatory that while the bacteria are portrayed as vicious, razor-toothed beasts, viruses appear as cute little spots?

"Hold on a minute -- what's our motivation?"

Works great, unless you've got a violet colored bathroom

Overall Loathsomeness: 6.8

Mitigating Factor: Always a stickler for accuracy, Lysol used the grammatically correct plural form of the verb "to be" when explaining that, unlike soap scum, bacteria "aren't" easy to see (after cartoonishly depicting them as if they were), earning the respect and admiration of English-speaking microbiologists around the world.


  1. Germ commercials are great. My favorite was for either clorox or lysol wipes where they show mom cleaning spilled food from a baby's bowl with a 'disinfecting wipe' like he was just eating a bowl of teeming bacteria or something!

  2. The women in those commercials always seem so damned delighted to have the opportunity to use the disinfectant or Bounty paper towels, don't they? Eventually they'll sigh sadly at their kids "why don't you ever spill anything anymore?"

  3. It's remarkable that regular soap, which for at least a century was considered to be the singular instrument of cleanliness, has now become associated with something dirty and disgusting -- the seemingly oxymoronic "soap scum" -- requiring another cleaning product to eradicate. Pure marketing genius.


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