Does Coco Captivate You?


There’s nothing remarkably wrong about Herbench’s new fragrance ad now showing along EDSA. Not even Coco Martin’s dazed expression and the most even skin complexion any Photoshop expert can muster. The design is generally acceptable and there seems to be no

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major flaw visible to the average Filipino commuter.

The problem is perfection only lasts until one takes a closer look. Assuming 80% of commuters don’t care, the 20% of us who just can’t help but scrutinize a piece of ad space eventually learns that this ad is as confused as the girl behind Coco might have felt during the photo shoot.

Here’s how the confusion began and eventually led me to shake my head in disappointment:

  1. First of all, the product is “Ooh Lala”, a Deo Body Spray – for women.
    Putting a male model on the foreground may be a great marketing strategy for the target audience, but it also puts the product in danger of being confused with something else. The Herbench logo and tiny fonts do nothing to eliminate that risk.
  2. The script font on the left side reads: “Captivate him”, but the image shows the exact opposite.
    It seems like the woman is the one who is “captivated”, her eyes closed and resting on the guy’s nape.
  3. The woman can easily be mistaken for a man at a very far distance, or a visually challenged audience.
    She doesn’t show continuity throughout the other half of the poster, and looks like she came from a different shot rather than the same space with Coco.

Bench has established its presence in EDSA as billboard royalty with aggressive ads that instantly grab your attention. This, however, played on the safe side. Although it doesn’t shock, it also doesn’t effectively get the right message across. There are no obvious mistakes, only hidden ones visible to the meticulous eye. That might explain why you always want to take a second look every time you see this ad.

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