Neutrogena Healthy Defense

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This is a strange and confusing ad. The headline is bizarre:

think your moisturizer needs a sunscreen.

When I read this, I expected that the next line was going to read something like “But we know you don’t. Here’s why…”

Instead, it’s followed by: And this is the best one.

Why not just say:

Dermatologists recommend a moisturizer with sunscreen.
Neutrogena is the best.

What we have here is another ad that is being too clever for its own good.

The first subhead reads:

helioplex + Healthy Defense
daily moisturizer = the best defense
against the worst kind of sun.

Now we’re into weird mathematics. Very clever. But I don’t know what it means because I’m not going to stop and analyze this hard-to-read copy while I’m reading a magazine where I don’t want to be bothered reading ads in the first place.

The next subhead reads:

Healthy Defense provides 3x more
UVA protection than Olay Complete.

Here’s some useful information—in the second subhead, hidden in copy that no one is going to ever read. Why isn’t this the headline? Add the word “moisturizer” after “Defense” and change “3x” to “3 times” and I’ve got the message. If the reader doesn’t read one word of copy, at least there’s a chance she’ll remember that one bit of information when its time to select a moisturizer.


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