Dettol's back to work ad sparks a (hilarious) backlash

(Image credit: Dettol)

A series of new Dettol ads, which promote getting back to work safely, has gone viral for all the wrong reasons. After a picture of the poster ad was shared on Twitter, office workers have weighed in with caustic opinions about the ad's faux-sentimentality. 

The advert (which definitely won't make it into our top print adverts list), essentially lists a bunch of things we're supposed to miss about the office. But the problem is, no one actually misses them. Set in a cringe-inducing style that's clearly supposed to raise a wry smile, if not a sentimental tear, it includes gems such as "proper bants" and "accidentally replying-all" (which, like a lot of the points on the list, we could actually do at home, just FYI). 

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We know Dettol's intentions are good – after all, people need to be sanitising their hands right now so, as Dettol alludes to, the offices don't have to close again (and y'know, it helps them sell their product, too). The trouble is that the tone is that of sharing a cheeky private joke, whereas it's actually just listing some things that happen in the day, in order. And a lot of them are things many people actively dislike. And don't get us started on the inclusion of plastic plants. 

If there's one good thing about the ill-judged campaign, it's the witty responses on Twitter, which range from lighthearted "bants" to absolute derision. 

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If the ad has done one thing, it seems to have convinced many into working from home permanently.

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Some wondered if it was a government sponsored campaign. Oh, and as two kind souls pointed out, there's school and tube versions as well. We bet the kids/commuters will love it.

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Whether you're enjoying working from home or you're keen to get back in the office, maybe there are a few things on that list you enjoy. But the ad style is off-putting and, we're sorry to say, a little desperate – something that the Twittersphere has picked up on. 

We all know how savage Twitter can be (remember its response to the new PS5 design?). Though it has its faults, it serves as a great barometer for unfettered public opinion and especially when the responses are as creative as some of these. Although it's certainly gained attention, we think Dettol will want to take note – and clean up its act for its next campaign.

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Georgia Coggan

Georgia is lucky enough to be Creative Bloq's Editor. She has been working for Creative Bloq since 2018, starting out as a freelancer writing about all things branding, design, art, tech and creativity – as well as sniffing out genuinely good deals on creative technology. Since becoming Editor, she has been managing the site on a day-to-day basis, helping to shape the diverse content streams CB is known for and leading the team in their own creativity.