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Sid Lee Capitalizes on Human Spite to Promote At-Home Hair Removal Product

New York agency Sid Lee created a series of thematically unified spots to promote Syneron Beauty Inc.’s mē “smooth” hair removal system, the “first and only professional at-home system that uses patented elos light technology and is FDA-cleared and clinically proven safe and effective on all skin tones.” The campaign, entitled “It’s for ME, not for her” launched with three spots this week, with two more forthcoming in November.

The spots all end with the line “You deserve the mē, but you might know someone who doesn’t,” before directing viewers to the mē website. Each spot precedes this with a woman explaining how they will tell everyone they know about the mē, except for one person who they really hate.

In the above video, “One Upper,” it’s the dreaded copycat who makes the spot’s protagonist attempt to one up her adversary in order to stay one step ahead and preserve her identity. Not a terrible premise, but the execution falls completely flat. This and the other spots’ attempts at humor all come across as awkward and cringe-worthy — and not in a funny Stephen Merchant kind of way. The other two spots feature a criminally bad blind date setup and a woman who always brings a large crowd along uninvited to intimate gatherings. Again, either of these premises could have been funny if well-executed but just come across as awkward and annoying.

We also see very little of the product being used — just a few seconds at the beginning and end really — with most of the time spent on cringe-inducing attempts at humor. If the product (which retails at $395!) is really as great as they say it is, shouldn’t they spend a little more time extolling its virtues? Especially if they’re going to ask women to drop $395, maybe Sid Lee and Syneron should use something other than spite to sell the product. Maybe explain what the hell “elos light technology” is (I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t know) and why it’s such a step up from the competition.

The spots were an attempt to cut “through the lingerie and bikini clad cosmetic noise of the category and [speak] to our audience as a friend, not a corporation,” explains Sid Lee New York CD Brandon Drew Jordan Pierce. Unfortunately, the spots come across as that one friend who means well but who you avoid because they won’t stop making terrible jokes and you hate the pressure of feeling like you have to force-laugh to avoid making them feel bad.

Perhaps the one redeeming quality of the campaign is the invitation to viewers of the mē website to submit via Facebook, email, or Twitter an explanation of someone who doesn’t deserve to find out about the mē. Although it would work better if the ads held up on their own, this could be a fun way for viewers to vent about a specific problem person in their life. It will also undoubtedly yield better stories than those featured in the current mē spots. Maybe Sid Lee can mine these stories for their next installment in the campaign. Stick around for the spot “Strangers” after the jump.

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