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August 7, 2012
GSK's Anti-Doping Ad
Courtesy of a reader in the UK, here's an ad from GlaxoSmithKline that I don't think has been seen much on this side of the Atlantic. I hadn't realized that they were involved in the drug testing for the London games; it's interesting that their public relations folks feel that it's worth highlighting. They're almost certainly right - I think one of the major objections people have when they hear of a case of athletic doping is a violation of the spirit of fair play.
But one can certainly see the hands of the advertising people at work. The napthyl rings for the double-O of "blood" are a nice touch, but the rest of the "chemistry" is complete nonsense. Update: it's such complete nonsense that they have the double bonds in the napthyl banging into each other, which I hadn't even noticed at first. Is it still a "Texas Carbon" when it's from London? In fact, it's so far off that it took me a minute of looking at the image to realize that the reason things were written so oddly was that the words were supposed to be more parts of a chemical formula. It's that wrong - the chemical equivalent of one of those meaningless Oriental language tattoos.
But as in the case of the tattoos, it probably gets its message across to people who've never been exposed to any of the actual symbols and syntax. I'd be interested to know if this typography immediately says "Chemistry!" to people who don't know any. I don't have many good opportunities to test that, though - everyone around me during the day knows the lingo!
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